How To Help Kids Overcome Their Fear Of Doctors And Shots

Half of the parents of young children in a recent survey said their kids fear going to the doctor. Some admit skipping vaccines and needed appointments. Here's how to nip medical anxiety in the bud.
Source: Ryan Johnson for NPR

Like many kids, Lisa Sparrell's daughter never liked getting shots at the doctor's office. "At first she'd cry some, but was quickly placated with rewards like a lollipop or a sticker," says Sparrell, who lives in Honolulu.

But last year, Sparrell's 10-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a heart defect. In preparation for surgery, the little girl's trips to the doctor sharply increased –and so did her anxiety.

"The frequency of appointments — many of which included blood draws and IV placements — made her fears worse," Sparrell says.

The concerned mom tried bringing electronics and

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