A visit to the doctor can be scary for people of any age. That’s especially true for kids. To help ease your child’s fear of pediatric checkups, consider reading the new book But I’m Not Sick! with them. This book is written by Dr. Andrena Zeigler, a pediatric nurse practitioner, so she has many great tips to share from her experience.
To find out more about this book for kids ages 4-10, l interviewed the author. Here is my one-on-one with Andrena Zeigler.
Disclosure: This sponsored post spotlights a book that intends to help ease children’s fears about going to the doctor. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from purchases made through links in this post.
Interview with Dr. Andrena Zeigler
Thank you for being here, Dr. Zeigler! Your book But I’m Not Sick! has a great purpose – To help ease kids’ worries about visiting the doctor. Your book intends to show the youngsters that going to the doctor doesn’t have to be scary, and they don’t have to wait to be sick.
To start, can you please share a bit about your experience in healthcare?
I have a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. I practice medicine as an advanced practice registered nurse, and I am board-certified as a pediatric nurse practitioner and pediatric mental health specialist. I have been a nursing professional for over 20 years, with experience working in an acute care setting (pediatric intensive care unit) and in primary care (a community health center).
From your experience, why are some children anxious and fearful about doctor visits?
One reason children are anxious and fearful about doctor visits is unfamiliarity. Stranger anxiety can present around 10 to 12 months of age but usually improves by age 2 years.
If the child is up to date on vaccinations, they may not be seen for a well-child check again until age 4 years when the school-age shots are due. Also, procedures and immunizations experienced during visits can be reasons a child may be afraid.
The child usually anticipates the potential discomfort long before it happens. Lastly, the child may be triggered by the anxiety of the parents, and their emotions are heightened because of this.
What can parents do to help make visiting the pediatrician less scary?
Parents should focus on fears that limit their child’s day-to-day function. Being afraid of the dark, going to school, or going to see the doctor are worthy adversaries.
If the child is afraid of going to the doctor’s office, find out from them what makes this scary. Validate that fear by saying, “I bet other children find that scary too.”
Make small goals to address the fear. If possible, don’t make the visit to see the pediatrician a surprise trip. Plan to inform the child of what to expect during the visit. Talk with the child on each day leading to the day of the appointment.
See your child’s primary care provider for most, if not all, visits for consistency in care to promote familiarity. Affirm and encourage the child by reminding them of their previous accomplishments. Also, parents should never project their fears onto the child or threaten the child with things he may be afraid of to produce good behavior. Show the child that you entrust the care of their health to their pediatrician.
How can your children’s book But I’m Not Sick! help ease fears about checkups?
But I’m Not Sick! helps to ease fears about checkups by preparing the child with exactly what to expect during a visit. It is cleverly written and takes the child throughout the entire visit. It gives a fun depiction of a well-child exam and is cheerfully illustrated by Mark Brayer.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by all the children in my life. It was my 7-year-old niece who invited me to sit down with her to write a book. She quickly lost interest, but I persisted. Afterwards, I read it to my teenage children who loved it and whimsically insisted that I get it published.
I did nothing with it for about 2 years, until I was reminded of it by one of my patients who asked his mother why he had to come to his appointment since he wasn’t sick. It was then that it was confirmed with me that I should publish.
Dr. Andrena Zeigler, tell us more about But I’m Not Sick!
The book is written in rhyme for children ages 4-10 years. It describes when a mother takes her child for a visit to the doctor’s office, and the child protests, “But I’m not sick!” The mother and doctor explain the entire process, the child enjoys the visit and looks forward to the next well-child checkup.
What do you hope that kids will gain from the reading experience?
My hope is that children come to know exactly what to expect at a well-child checkup. I would like for them and their caregivers to know that well checkups are needed every year, whether vaccines are needed or not. Also, they can be FUN!!
Wonderful. Can you please share a few lines of rhyme from the book?
It’s now time for your exam.
I will look, listen, and feel.
Don’t worry! Mom will be right here
through the entire ordeal.
Now I’m seeing why it won the gold medal book award!
Thank you! The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards recognizes exemplary children’s books and supports childhood literacy. I am still very excited about winning the gold medal Moonbeam Award.
It means so much to me as this is my first children’s book. As such, it is an accomplishment to be chosen among many applicants. As a healthcare provider, it is even more special for it to be a winner in the Health Issues category. Because of it, I have gained a larger audience and more opportunities, like interviews and guest appearances.
It’s so great to have you here, Andrena. Where can we get a copy of But I’m Not Sick!
But I’m Not Sick! can be found on multiple online platforms, including Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, BooksAMillion.com, and others. It has also been accepted in a few local libraries and bookstores in my area.
It is available for direct printing to those who have an Ingram account. If there are any interested parties or organizations who would like to purchase in bulk, please contact me directly.
What else Andrena Zeigler wants you to know
I have recently published my second children’s book! I’m Bigger and Braver! was released September 2022 and focuses on a child’s fear about receiving immunizations.
Where you can connect with Andrena Zeigler online
Find out more about Andrena and her books at her website www.andrenajzeigler.com
Want to interview this inspiring author or contact her for another reason? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect with her on social media too. She is on Facebook and Instagram.
Thank you for being here for this interview, Andrena, to shed light on calming children’s fears about doctors. Over to you, readers: Is your child anxious about doctor’s visits?
Top photo: Meet Andrena Zeigler. Photo courtesy of Andrena.
4 thoughts on “Is your child scared of pediatric checkups? Andrena Zeigler’s book is here to help”
What a wonderful review of Dr. Andrena Zeigler’s book, Christy! This is an ideal reference guide for parents with pediatric concerns. Bravo my friend. 👏🏼😍👏🏼
It’s such a great book idea, isn’t it?! Thanks Kym for being here!
Oh my dear friend, it is a pleasure! Continue to soar! 😊🐱🏍🥳
You too! 🪁🥰