While most of the procedures that ENT specialists do for children are routine and will help your kids feel better, it can be a scary time. By this point, your child may have already built a trusting relationship with their pediatrician, GP or ENT specialist. It is still important to prepare for these visits and know what to expect when heading in for a consultation.
Informing yourself is the best preparation for your child
You may have already been asked by your child “Am I going to get a needle?” Most kids are not afraid of doctor visits because they do not always involve painful procedures, like getting booster shots. Kids do know that getting needles or undergoing some other uncomfortable treatment is a possibility, though.
The best way to prepare your child is to inform yourself as much as possible what this visit will include. If this is a consultation for ear grommets, do a quick search on what to expect from an ENT ear exam. Once you have familiarised yourself, tell your child the basics of what to expect. “The doctor’s going to look inside your ear, and they will probably ask you to open your mouth really wide. Then they’re going to give you some medicine to help you feel better.”
If your child needs a surgical procedure
If, after your initial consultation with an ENT specialist, they recommend a surgical procedure – such as a tonsillectomy, ear grommets or adenoidectomy, it is time to get your child prepared for the next step. It is understandable if you feel a little bit nervous or anxious about your child undergoing a surgical procedure; however, you must be careful not to pass on your anxiety to them.
Just like with their first ENT exam, you want to prepare your child for what to expect. If they need to get their tonsils and/or adenoids removed, focus on the positive aspects of the procedure. You do not want to focus on how much your child’s throat will hurt after the operation. Instead, tell them about how they will get to eat pudding, ice cream, and jelly for a whole week! In between telling them about all the chocolate pudding they will be eating, you can tell them about how they will be going to sleep for the operation, but they will be going home with you as soon as it is done.
Always ask questions
Your ear, nose, and throat specialist will be happy to answer all of the questions you have about your child’s medications and any concerns you have about any recommended procedures. Their job is to help your child breathe and hear better, and they will be happy to make you feel better, too. Educating yourself and talking to your child is the best strategy for getting through any procedure.
If you have questions or concerns about children’s ear nose and throat health make an appointment to see our ear nose and throat specialist.