Working with children

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Working with children

First impressions are important. Fear may be the predominant emotion. Children are often quick to “sense” an atmosphere and the reactions of those in it.

Practical tips:
• Sit close to child
• Listen carefully (avoid temptation for abrupt interruptions)
• Maintain good eye contact (conveys understanding and caring)
• Children may not understand discussion between Podiatrist and parent
• Avoid jargon
• Have toys available
• Avoid patronising language
• Show concern and care for the child
• The introduction in the waiting room should be addressed to both parent and child
• On the way to the consulting room – simple enquires, such as the child missing school or mode of transport to the clinic  show an interest in the child – make it personal
• Examine small child on parents lap
• Examine by making it a ‘game’
• Attention spans are short in children  make examination specific and quick; may help to interview parents while child is playing
• Not wearing a white coat may also help put children at ease (‘dress the part’ – look like everyone else as children will relate better – improves ‘approachability’)

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