The proper handling of children by the physician is a real art and it makes the practice of pediatrics a pleasure instead of wearing on ones nerves. One of the greatest joys in the practice of medicine is to have little children brought into your office, or greet toe at at their bedsides, smiling and happy at the thought of seeing you. Perhaps you will remember their fear and trembling on the first visit, but now after one or two visits, they are anxious to come. If you do not make friends of your children patients, there is something wrong with the way you are handling them.
There is nothing that draws the parents to the physician as much as having their children like him. The average homoeopathic physician does not inject all kinds of serums into these little patients and seldom needs to do disagreeable things, unless it is to look in their throats, or to take care of them in the case of accidents Then too,the homoeopathic medicines are easy to take.
After you have won their confidence and trust, you can usually do even painful things without a whimper. A doctor should study his various little patients so as to know how to handle each one, so that they will want to come to see him or have him come to see them. The approach to different children must often vary, according to the temperament of the particular child.
You must always meet them cheerfully and with a smile. As a rule it is a good plan to talk to them as you would to an older person, show an interest in what they are doing or what they are interest in. You must never be in a hurry with new children patients, or you will not in their confidence. Successful homoeopathic physicians are never in a hurry with any case as it does not lead to good prescribing.
If a child comes to you frightened and terrified, it is better to speak to him as he comes in and the ignore him for the present.
Have the parents give you the history of the case and do everything possible before you make any examination. Usually by that time the child is over this fear and has decided that you are not such a bad doctor after all. Always handle him gently and do not force him until every other method has been tried.
It is a good plan to have toys in your office for the children to play with. These must be non-breakable and something that can be easily cleaned or sterilized. It is helpful to occasionally give the child some little thing when he comes to the office. Most children are happy to have the wooden tongue blade that you use to took at their throats and it makes this ordeal easier when they know that you will give it to them. There are always lots of little things around your office that you would otherwise throw away that will appeal to a child; small vials, pictures that come with circulars, etc.
One thing that every child likes is a penny, and more so if it is a nice shiny one. I remember one child about three years of age, who had an acute suppurative otitis media. I couldnt seem to make up with her as I examined and cleaned out her ear each time that I called. Somehow or other, I found out that she was very found of bottles and I started giving her a small one each time I came. she was always smiling and glad to see me from that time on and I could do anything with her. This was about give years ago; she is still anxious to come to my office and the moment she comes in, begins to talk about a bottle.
Always praise a child when he has been good during your examination. It pleases him and the parents as well.
I believe we should be absolutely honest with a child. Do not tell him that it will not hurt when it will or he will not trust you. I have always made it a practice in smaller children where something is painful, to let the parents do it if it is something that they can do. I do not give serums unless the parents insist on it. If I do give any to a small child, I have the mother and the mother and the office nurse hold the child in such a way that the child does not see me give it, and then he will not hold it against you after wards.
Parents often tell you that their children are afraid of the doctor or anyone with a white coat or gown on ever since a certain doctor included them against diphtheria, etc.
The mildness, gentleness and pleasantness of homoeopathy makes it particularly applicable to little children and should make it at a real joy administering to them. If your approach and method of handing them.
DR.FARRINGTON: I am pleased to discuss this paper, as our worthy Secretary-Treasurer shows that he can write a good paper as well as wheedle money our of the rest of us.
He has given in very brief from the whole technique and science of handling the little ones. Children are at once difficult and easy to treat. They are difficult only because, like the you and all things, they are timid and require special management. You have to depend almost entirely upon your observations or the things that the attendant or the mother tells you about the child. The things he says about handling them are quite true. If you play a little game or use some little device to divert their minds, you will gain their confidence. One of the most important things is to at first ignore them.
For instance, in examination of the throat, if you use a wooden spatula, just say to the child,. “Look at this little bed slat. Isnt it cute? When I am through, you may have it”. Or you may substitute a clean one. The child usually cooperates.
DR.STEVENS;There is on little thing that I think is helpful. when it is necessary to use the stethoscope, I tell the child I am going to play telephone. sometimes they are little afraid of the instrument but if you say you are going to play telephone, it helps.