- Be affirming and reassuring. Words are powerful, so keep them positive. While they are scared, your child will look to you for reassurance. Tell them that everything is going to be okay and that they are being brave. The sound of your voice alone will be soothing.
- Bring a few comfort items. If you have time, pack a stuffed animal, blanket, or a favorite book to keep them calm while they are at the emergency clinic. This will let them hold on to a small piece of familiarity while they are in an unknown place. Reading a story out loud or singing a song together may also keep them comforted.
- Be their advocate. Remember that your child may not fully communicate how they are feeling to the doctor, especially if they are young. This means that you will have to communicate many of their symptoms and ensure that they are being understood. Most physicians are trained to work with children, so they will ask you the right questions.
- Keep yourself calm as well. By staying as calm as possible, you can be your child’s rock in a frightening situation. Even if you are worried about their potentially broken leg, for example, do your best not to show it. Your job is to be strong in this moment.
- Tell your child what to expect. Much of your child’s anxiety comes from the unknown,
so try to bridge this gap as much as possible. Tell them when something might pinch and when the doctor is going to take an x-ray for example. When they know what’s coming, they can feel more at ease.
Remember that not all medical emergencies need to be treated in the emergency room. A study by Milliman found that about 44-65% of all ER incidents could have been treated at urgent care clinics. By searching “24 hour emergency clinics near me” you can find the best clinic for your child.