Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Invitation to Role Play to Prep for a Vaccine or Doctors Visit
Updated: Jun 30, 2022
Last week after attending the CDSS Vaccinate All 58 meeting for the much awaited release of the COVID-19 vaccine for 6mos-5 years, I thought it would be a good idea to provide the information and resources that I sent out to our families at our three centers from the CDSS, CA Public Health Department, AAP, CDC, FDA and more to help guide and support their decision to prepare and vaccinate. Parents/Guardians and caregivers like myself, have been eagerly waiting for this moment as it is our hope that this will help provide more protection for our communities and continue to steer us in the right direction to continue to safely operate childcare facilities with less disruptions, chaos, and more normalcy where we can focus on the magic and importance of early childhood.
Preparing children through role play, talking, reading, watching a video, while giving them advanced notice of a vaccine appointment or doctors visit will help ease the process and make it positive experience that they will carry through the rest of their life. While it won’t guarantee zero tears, it will help ease the process and help build social emotional resiliency during these regular visits and appointments.
One of the best ways for a child to feel more in control of visit or vaccine adminisration is through role play. Since children learn by doing, simply providing baby dolls and a doctor kit (career set + first aid kit) for them to practice on the doll, parent, friend, sibling, or them will help them feel better prepared and more in control for what will happen to them as they will have a foundation of what to expect.
Talking during meal times, car rides, or bed time opens the discussion to let them know what will happen, understand their worries, provide examples of what will happen, have them feel heard, why it is important to take care of our bodies, and protect our community. There are also many children’s books about doctor’s visits, vaccines, germs that you can read with your child in the days leading up such as these listed below:
Baby Medical School: My Doctor's Visit: A Doctor Book for Kids
Checkup with Doctor Giraffe - Touch and Feel Board Book - Sensory Board Book
Let's Meet a Doctor (Cloverleaf Books ™ ― Community Helpers) Vaccines:
Baby Medical School: Vaccines: Learn about the Science of Immunity and How Vaccines Keep Us Healthy!
When a Shot Meant a Lot: A Story for Kids About the COVID-19 Vaccine
Maxine’s Critters Get the Vaccine Jitters: A cheerful and encouraging story to soothe kids’ covid vaccine fears
How Germs are Spread (To explain why we go to the doctors/get vaccines) :
Do Not Lick This Book Germs vs. Soap
There's a Skeleton Inside You! Cutie Sue Fights the Germs: An Adorable Children's Book About Health and Personal Hygiene
Baby Medical School: Bacteria and Antibiotics: A Human Body Science Book for Kids
The Secret Life of Viruses: Incredible Science Facts about Germs, Vaccines, and What You Can Do to Stay Healthy
And as always watching videos with their favorite characters helps take the pressure off, feels relatable, and they are more connected to that a familiar face doing the same thing they will be doing. Here are some videos below for doctor visits and vaccines:
How to Talk to Your Child About Vaccines- PBS
Daniel Tiger Gets a Shot Video- PBS
The ABCs of COVID Vaccines- Sesame Street
Big Bird + Rosita + Elmo Gets the COVID Vaccine- Sesame Street
How Do People Catch a Cold- Netflix
Getting A Check Up- Sesame Street
D is for Doctor- Sesame Street
Doctors are Grownups Who Help Us-PBS
More Resources and Information:
Preparing Your Child for Visits to the Doctor
5 ways to prepare your child for the COVID vaccine
COVID Vaccine Checklist for Kids
Taking Fear and Pain Out of Needles—for Your Child and You
COVID-19 Vaccine in Infants, Children, & Adolescents
AAP COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
COVID Vaccines for Kids 6 Months & Older: FAQs for Families
What should parents know about the COVID vaccine for kids under 5
Pediatricians on Instagram:
@dr.amnahusain @unbiasedscipod @thepediatricanmom @pedsdoctalk
@dr.nicolebaldwin @kckidsdoc @alokpatelmd @deardrchristina @drcarolinebrown @anitakatelmd @jessosheamd Epidemiologist on Instagram:
Today was a big day! First dose of Moderna administered for my guy.
Find COVID Vaccines & Boosters here!