News | Published April 4, 2013 | Written by Caryl Waite, PA-C, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group

How should I prepare for my child’s pediatrician appointment?

You want a successful doctor’s visit, especially when the appointment is for your child. To help make your visit go smoothly, here are a few tips on what you can do:

  1. Check the time: Time is key in terms of two factors – scheduling the appointment for the right time and making sure you arrive ahead of time. Try not to schedule an appointment for your child during their naptime or when they typically eat. This will make the appointment go much better. Also, arrive a few minutes early to check in and complete any paperwork.
  2. Come prepared: During every visit, we will be updating your child’s medications and allergy and family history. If your child is on daily medications, have a written list of these medications, their strengths and dosing schedule. Or, just bring your child’s medication along. Having a basic idea of the diseases that run in your family will help us provide the best healthcare we can. Additionally, bring your child’s insurance card and vaccination record.
  3. Write down questions: To help ensure you don’t forget any important questions you want to address with your healthcare provider, write the questions down and bring them to the appointment.  
  4. Help ease any fear: Young children may be nervous about coming to the doctor’s office. Try to give your child a basic idea of what will go on during his visit with us. There are many books and DVDs that can help. Also, play “doctor’s visit” with them at home, and use a doll or stuffed animal to show how a doctor may examine their mouth, eyes, ears and chest. If you bring the doll or stuffed animal to the appointment, your child may feel more comfortable. Also, it helps if you remain calm, reassuring and matter-of-fact. Your child will likely mirror your behavior.
  5. Provide necessary medical authorizations: If a parent or guardian will not be at your child’s visit, make sure that you have completed a medical proxy form that gives the accompanying adult permission to authorize medical care. A handwritten note giving the accompanying adult authority will help if you haven’t filled out the proxy form. When your teenager drives themselves to their appointment, please have a way that the physician can contact you to authorize any vaccines they might need and to address any issues with you.
  6. Be able to talk about your child’s sickness: Have a general idea of the timing of your child’s illness and any symptoms you are especially worried about. Be ready to tell us what over-the-counter medicines you have given your child and the timing of his last dose.
  7. Explain that again: Before you leave the appointment, make sure you understand the diagnosis, treatment, tips and any next steps. Write down notes so that you can remember important points or instructions. And if you forget anything, just call your doctor’s office and ask.

At Mount Nittany Health, we want the time you spend in our office to be as smooth and stress-free as possible. If you have any questions regarding your child’s health, visit for more information.