This month I got the pleasure to read a book written by a fellow child life specialist regarding going to the doctor. “It’s Time For Your Checkup: What To Expect When Going To A Doctor’s Visit” is a book written by Shani Thornton, MS, CCLS. The book focuses on explaining how a well child visit works to children, complete with pictures of children going through the steps. I am so excited that there is another book out that talks about the well child visit. While not all kids end up being hospitalized or even having surgery, all kids have to get check ups, multiple times throughout their lives. Because of that I think it’s very important to be having conversations with your children about going to the doctor and what to expect. One way to get that conversation started is by reading a book!
This book not only talks about the course of events during a well child visit, but it also tells the steps of a blood draw and a shot. This is a really great addition, because everyone gets shots and many children also have to get blood draws. By explaining it in an age appropriate way children aren’t surprised and they can make a plan to cope through the experience. Regarding this last point, the book also talks about ways to cope during painful and/or stressful medical procedures like blood draws and shots. And my favorite part, it shows different ways that parents can help their children cope, including the different ways you can parents can hold their children during blood draws and shots. In child life, we call these techniques “comfort positions” or “comfort holds”. Basically it means different ways to hold you child so they feel secure and safe and without having 3 people holding the child down. I especially love that there are pictures demonstrating the comfort holds, because I have found that it’s easier to show than to explain the positions.
I very much recommend this book for any family with children and encourage parents to read the story to their children. You can also get ideas from the book about how to help children process a doctor’s visit, including using medical play! You can find the book on Amazon and you can read more about the author Shani on her website. Shani was kind enough to share her bio with us, which you can read below!
Title: It’s Time For Your Checkup: What To Expect When Going To A Doctor Visit
Author: Shani Thornton, MS, CCLS
Subjects: Well-child visit, Check-up, Doctors, Children
Ages: Preschool through School-age