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7 Tips for Parents with Children who are Scared of Doctors

Douglas Dinarte
Dec 14, 2022

7 Tips for Parents with Children who are Scared of Doctors

For many kids, going to the doctor can be a scary experience. They may be afraid of needles, uncertain about what will happen, or not used to being in a medical setting. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help them feel more comfortable.

This guide will give tips on easing the fear and anxiety if your children are scared of the doctor, providing actionable ways that you can use to support your kid's health and well-being. By the end of this article, you'll have plenty of ideas to help your child feel at ease when they go to the doctor.

Why are children scared of the doctor?

A child may fear going to the doctor for many different reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Not knowing what to expect – Children may fear the unknown and worry about what might happen if they go to the doctor.
  2. Unfamiliarity with the medical setting – Medical environments can be overwhelming or scary for some children.
  3. Fear of needles – Many kids fear needles and fear that a shot will be painful.
  4. Fear of being judged – Kids fear something is wrong with them or being reprimanded by a doctor.
  5. Separation anxiety – Kids fear being away from their parents and not knowing what is happening during a doctor's appointment.

No matter the fear, it's essential to listen to your child and try to help them through this fear so that they can receive necessary medical care.

7 Tips to Help your Children Overcome Their Fear of Doctors

The fear of doctors is one of the most common phobias in children. You're not alone if your child is afraid of visiting the doctor. Here are seven tips to help your kids overcome their fear and get the care they need:

Tip #1: Talk to your kids about why they're scared and what to expect from their doctor's visit:

Mom talking to her son about why he's scared and what to expect from his doctor's visit.

As parents, it's essential to talk about why your kid feels afraid and what to expect during the visit. This can help them prepare mentally and emotionally for their appointment. Ask open-ended questions like "What do you think will happen at the doctor's office?" to understand their concerns. Once they feel heard, explain what will happen during the visit.

Tip #2: Help your children to understand that the doctor is there to help them get better, not to hurt them:

Doctor talking to a children helping she to understand that the doctor is there to help she get better, not to hurt her.

Let kids know that the doctor is their friend. Explain that the doctor may have to check or examine them, but it won't hurt. Remind kids that doctors are there for one purpose: to help kids feel better when they're sick or hurt. Talk about how the doctor will look out for their health and well-being by ensuring they get better. They can also feel comforted that you will be close by with them throughout the appointment.

Tip #3: Bring along your child's favorite toy or stuffed animal for comfort:

Bringing your child's favorite plush toy or stuffed animal to the doctor's office can provide comfort and security in an unknown place. Seeing a familiar face with them can help calm them down and reassure them that nothing wrong will happen as long as their favorite toy is there.

Additionally, having something to hold on to during the appointment can help your child feel more at ease and distracted from any procedures that might take place. So, remember to bring along a favorite toy or stuffed animal to make the appointment a little less scary for your kiddo!

Bring your kid's favorite stuffed toy to the doctor visit.

If you want to provide your child with an even more comforting presence during their next doctor's appointment, consider bringing a Boo Boo Ball™  Plush Toy. This soft and cuddly soother is perfect for kids of all ages, and its unique design is unlike any other plushie on the market.

The ball-like shape is easy for kids to hold onto, providing extra support and security during their appointment. The best part, it comes with a hidden first-aid kit! Inside every Boo Boo Ball™ Plushie’s secret zipper pouch, you’ll find all the supplies they'll need to feel better in a flash, like an ice pack, fun bandages to match their plushie, antibiotic ointment and bravery stickers, of course! 

“My mom and I created the BOO BOO BALL because when I was a little girl, I was terrified of going to the doctor & the intimidating medical supplies! My mom had the idea for the BOO BOO BALL because there was nothing on the market that soothed kids' anxiety when it came to medical moments,” says Boo Boo Ball’s founder, Hilary Richards.

“It's the perfect stuffed animal for taking to the doctor's office. Every Boo Boo Ball even has their very own ouchie somewhere on them, so you're never alone, and you’ll be comforted every step of the way with fun, character bandages, stickers, and a big hug from your bravery buddy!”

Tip #4: Encourage your Kids to talk openly with the doctor if they have any questions or concerns:

Dad encouraging his daugther to talk openly with the doctor if she has any questions or concerns.

Kids may feel afraid to ask questions or express their worries in front of doctors, but you should always encourage them to do so if they have any questions or concerns. By telling your kids that it's perfectly normal and acceptable to voice their questions or concerns, they'll be less worried about speaking up during the appointment.

Tip #5: Praise your child for bravery when they go through with their doctor's visit:

Praise your child for bravery when they go through with their doctor's visit

When your kids bravely go through their doctor's appointments, show them how proud you are of their bravery. Letting them know they handled the situation well will give them confidence and accomplishment, which can help make future appointments less intimidating. A simple "I'm so proud of you!" can go a long way in making your child feel strong and secure after going through with their appointment.

Tip #6: Reward them with a fun activity or treat once it's over:

Reward them with a fun activity or treat once it's over

Your child's doctor appointment doesn't have to be all about being scared and uncomfortable. After the appointment is over, treat your child to a fun activity or special treat as an incentive for doing such a great job! This will not only make them feel better after the visit, but it may also help them look forward to future appointments in a positive way. Whether you decide to take them for ice cream or a trip to the park, your child will surely appreciate the reward for all their bravery.

Tip #7: Give them plenty of hugs and reassurance throughout the process:

Give them plenty of hugs and reassurance throughout the process

Above all, hugs and kisses are the best remedies for any doctor's appointment worries. Give your child plenty of hugs and reassurance before or after the visit, so they know you're there for them. Letting them know that no matter what happens, you love them and will be there for them can go a long way in helping them feel safe and secure throughout the doctor's visit.


Going to the doctor can be a nerve-wracking experience for parents and children. However, with these seven tips in mind, you'll have all the tools you need to ensure your child has a positive and successful experience at their next appointment. From bringing along their favorite plush toy to offering them plenty of hugs and kisses, these tips can help make the experience less overwhelming and much more enjoyable for your kiddo!

Don't forget to get your Boo Boo Ball today, so your child can have a fun, calming, bravery buddy during their next doctor appointment!

Don't forget to get your Boo Boo Ball today!

BOO BOO BALL™: “Soothe’s Anxiety when it comes to medical moments”

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