mother and child on telehealth appointment

How to Prepare Your Young Child for a Telehealth Appointment

In recent years, medical professionals and patients alike have pushed toward virtual health care options, commonly known as “telehealth.” When COVID-19 spread around the globe, the demand for telehealth skyrocketed across the industry. By this time, you have likely had a telehealth appointment for yourself and may even feel comfortable with the technology. However, preparing for a pediatric telehealth appointment is a new challenge.

Depending on the age of your child, you may wonder if you can even keep them still for long enough to get through the appointment. While pediatric telehealth can be a challenge, providers who specialize in children’s health are skilled at keeping the attention of children. With a few tips and tricks, you can prepare for your child for a telehealth appointment.

Schedule the Appointment for the Best Time of Day

Unless your need is urgent, consider scheduling your child’s telehealth appointment around your routine. For example, avoid booking an appointment in the middle of nap time or when your child would be eating lunch. This can help you avoid meltdowns or prevent your child from needing snacks during the call.

Get All Your Supplies Ready for Your Child’s Telehealth Appointment

Depending on the type of appointment you have and your provider’s needs, you may need to prepare a few items to help your child’s telehealth appointment go smoothly. Consider having the following items handy before your appointment:

  • A thermometer
  • Your pharmacy’s information
  • A list of questions for your provider
  • A comfort item for your child (blanket, toy, etc.)
  • Flashlight
  • Your child’s weight
  • A list of your child’s current medications and supplements
  • The technology you need to connect to the provider

Make Sure Your Device Connects

Your child’s telehealth appointment will require a video connection. You will need a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet with video capabilities. Be sure to check with your provider to see what software you will need. Then download and run any additional software before the appointment, just to ensure it works properly. These steps can keep everyone’s focus on the child, rather than the technology.

Talk to Your Child About the Visit

Depending on your child’s age and communication abilities, you may want to talk to your child about the telehealth appointment before it begins. Go over what to expect, quell any fears, and answer questions as well as you can. Children tend to feel better about appointments when they know what to expect.

Fill Out Forms Ahead of Time

As with in-person appointments, you will likely need to complete a few forms before it’s time for your child’s telehealth visit. For example, you may need to provide insurance information, since most insurance companies cover telehealth now. Furthermore, you will likely need to complete a form that gives the provider consent to treat your child over telehealth.

Find the Right Location for the Call

It’s important to connect to your provider from a private area, preferably in your home. Make sure the room you choose has enough light and is relatively quiet. Try to void noisy distractions, such as the television. These distractions can make it difficult for the provider to hear you and your child. Furthermore, you need to ensure the room you choose is not an internet “dead zone” in your home.

If your child needs help with a mental or behavioral health condition, contact LifeStance Health today. We accept most insurance for telehealth appointments and make the process seamless for your family.