General

When Parents Use "Injections" As A Scare Tactic

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11 Jul 2016 - General
 

Today I released a blog post, Patient Chronicles: Please Don't Use "Injections" to Discipline Your Children

In the clinic I was working in, I came across a little boy and his mom in the corridor and I heard her telling him off for running around and playing. He wasn't being too bad, though, but anyway when he still decided to play, his mother goes: "You have to behave or the doctor will give you an injection" And she smiled at me and gave me a wink. It was really awkward, but just before I left, I smiled at her and very politely, I said: "Oh please don't use the injection to scare him."

What are your thoughts about this, because I really hear this a lot from parents and it always upsets me that they have to use an already SCARY tool to add to the threat of doctors, hospitals, clinics and so forth. I mean, it is hard enough to convince a child to sit down on the chair and ask them to open their mouths--when parents have instilled such an ominous threat, it takes thing to a whole new level, doesn't it?

I wish they wouldn't do it. Bad cop, good cop--I hope they stop making us the bad cop because they have to be our friends. Anyway, regardless, we will deal with these fears as they have to be met and personally, I love children and I enjoy treating children in my clinic. But I would really appreciate some help from parents--we are not the bad guys. They have to stop disciplining their children with the threat of INJECTIONS (cue in horror music). LOL. 

 

 

 

I grew up not being scared of the dentist and shots because my mother didn't use this scare tactic to me. I only found out that being injected with anesthesia during dental visits was supposed to be scary because most of my friends were scared of it. I also didn't get why the dentist would always tell me that I am a brave girl for not flinching while being injected with anesthesia. My mom is scarier than the dentist. My mom tries to push my tooth to check if it's ready to be pulled ...
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Hahaha, psycho theme- so apt. I should have music like that when I treat children and then that would be the perfect setting. Just kidding. Yes, I do not want to put the parents down, but I see other parents who are very good with their children--and I wish everyone could just be like that. I also have parents who would spank and pinch the children if they refuse to sit on the chair--and I want to say, it's okay I can wait. But they get very frustrated that their child doesn’t want to cooper...
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Oh I absolutely hate it when parents or guardians to this to their kids! "If you don't behave the doctor will give you an injection." This is why children develop such a fear or even complexes about visiting the doctor. Doctor=injection=fear. Sometimes they would make the fear even worse. Here you are trying to auscultate the child and he/she starts crying. In comes mommy or daddy saying, "if you don't crying this doctor will give you an injection!" Everything has to ...
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Oh yes Lianne. I see much older patients with very poor oral health conditions and when you ask them what's happened, they say: "They grew up afraid of dentists". It really goes a long way. For me, with my patients, I encourage parents to take their children along with them during dental appointments so they can get used to the clinic and ME. By the time it's their turn to sit on the chair, they're used to seeing me. So basically, there's no point making us enemies real...
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I’ve heard this scare tactic too many times from parents, and reading your post, I just realized how harmful this can actually be to the child. For many children, thoughts like this are ingrained so deeply that they don’t get over it even during adulthood. I think parents should be made more aware that injections and people in white coats aren’t the enemy help and thus shouldn’t be used as a scare tactic. In some ways, it may actually even backfire on them once their kid is sick or hospitalized ...
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Oh of course Amit. This is almost unavoidable and we can only complain and cope. It's part of the territory, I guess. But it would be nice if they just didn't do it because there are other ways to deal with children who wont behave. And yes Marinelle, the white coat does scare some children--as well as the mask, sometimes. So it's quite tricky. I try to remove all of that when I meet them for the first time and just see what happens next. Basically with children, it's different e...
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This is actually frustrating because I see a lot these in the ER. Some kids even grow up into their teens without overcoming the fear of injection. Since young minds are like unfiltered sponges and if parents continue to threaten their child with this, children will see injection as a form of punishment. Consequently, they will see doctors as “the punisher”! In practice, I’ve seen some kids who are scared with even just the sight of a doctor’s white coat. So whenever I go to the pediatrics unit...
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Threatening with pain and rewarding with food has been a tradition which transgresses all boundaries. Kids upto the age of 5 are difficult to handle. They are not afraid of anything, they cannot be expected to obey anything and they do not have the notion of embarrassment. It is indeed a difficult job to make a child do what you need them to do unless you use the age old fear or reward theory. It is a traditional thing to threaten with an imaginary injection given by a doctor. Another traditiona...
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Yes. I believe in being friends with them first and then playing with them. So unless there is an emergency, I try not to do anything on the first visit, actually. If I am seeing a child for the first time and it is his/her first time, I keep appointments short. Just counting teeth, smiling, and then we play with the air/water syringe and glove-balloon. I also try not to trick the child. I do not lie to them. I want them to allow me to treat them because I find it easier when they actually open ...
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Yes i agree with you. I always have parents scaring kids with "if you misbehavior the doctor will give you an injection". There after, the child will start crying and struggling to get out of my room before the consultation even started. Sometimes I will have to bear the brunt of his kicking during physical examination. Parents must always teach their kids to play doctor and patient at home. Kids should play the role of patient as well as doctor. It makes the whole consultation more f...
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