Sunday, February 1, 2015

Keeping Kids Calm While Waiting in the Doctor's Office


Most parents would agree that the most difficult part of routine doctor's office visits is the wait. Add in one or two siblings and the wait gets even harder. Many Doctor's offices have TVs games, or coloring tables, and some have a fish tank or two, but after the first visit or two, even the fish tank can be ho-hum.

As a parent of a child with asthma, and allergies (currently going through weekly or bi-weekly allergy shots) sometimes it feels like the allergist's office is our second home, and my two kids sometimes make themselves a little too comfortable.  Becoming possessive of the office's toys, or telling someone that they must move as they are in their favorite spot are not cute, no matter how cute I think my kids are. To prevent this I do my best to keep them occupied by bringing along a goody bag of distractions.

Our favorite things to bring to the doctor's office:

Toy Cars- one for play, and one for sharing.
Two small dolls or stuffed animals.
Coloring Books- and a small baggie of crayons.
Small Puzzles- Puzzle apps are great for this!
Brain Teasers- Rubik's Cube is a good one, or printable word brain teasers are great.
Color wonder water painting book with magic painting pen- no water or brushes necessary.
Books- Read to self book for my 8 year old, and picture books for the 4 year old.
Phone or tablet etc. with games- Make sure to pack the headphones!
*Gum- I know this is a questionable item as it can end up stuck underneath the chair, or in the hair, but it beats food, and keeps my little ones entertained. I promise I make sure it is thrown away responsibly!
* Dum-dums, or other small suckers for shots- I read that sucking on something sweet lessens the pain. I know it's also a questionable choice!

Items NOT to bring:

Food- Someone may have severe food allergies, plus kids leave crumbs everywhere.
Juice- You don't want to stain the chairs or have sticky fingers and clothes.
Anything that makes noise unless it comes with headphones.
Large containers of water- You know a spill is inevitable with a heavy bottle.

Where did I come up with the list of items not to bring you ask?  Well, not too long ago, I was in the waiting room with juice stains down my shirt looking like a fool as I tried to figure out how to turn the blasting volume down on my son's Leap Pad while at the same time brushing sticky cracker crumbs off of the chair while tipping over my ridiculously full and open camping water bottle. Wouldn't want you to recreate the scene!

I try to keep the goodie bag fresh and entertaining by rotating the items in the bag, and finding new kids learning/game apps for my iPad.

We will be in the allergist's office 1-2 times a week for the foreseeable future. If you have any tips on how to stay entertained in the doctors waiting room. Please share!!