Everybody hates having the dreaded tongue depressor down their throat when the doctor is trying to take a look. I have kids flinch and cry at the mere sight of the stick. I have a great trick for being able to see the back of your child’s throat without having to use the tongue depressor. It works for children 2-2 ½ or older (the child needs to be able to follow instructions).
Steps for seeing in the throat:
- Have the child sit at your eye level.
- Be ready with a light to shine in the mouth.
- Have your child stick out his or her tongue (as far out as it will go and aimed downward).
- Have your child “pant like a puppy” (with the tongue hanging out). I typically will demonstrate the move for the child.
The maneuver will lift the uvula (in the back of the throat), get the tongue out of the way, and distract the child from the real reason you are doing this “fun thing.” It works like a charm. If your child is a patient of mine, then you’ve already done it. If you’ve never been in my office, share the trick with your pediatrician; it’s gold.
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