Say “Ahhh!” - Dora Goes to the Doctor

Say “Ahhh!” - Dora Goes to the Doctor

"The book is overall a good introduction to what a check-up is like."

When we take babies to the doctor, we don’t have to mentally prepare them. They often sleep through it, and many are already used to being passed between strangers who want to “hold the baby.” But once the child is old enough to fear shots, associate the word “doctor” with “torture artist,” and generally fear going, it can be difficult to soothe his or her nerves.

My own daughter actually likes going to the doctor. I think it’s because she’s fascinated with all of her tools and gadgets, loves science, and loves getting a sticker and sucker at the end of her visit. Plus, she’s done with her shots for a while, so she knows that’s not a threat (and we usually get flumist rather than the flu shot). She’s usually pretty healthy, so an annual checkup is typically our extent of doctor visits each year.

Plenty of children may need to ease into the visit, however. That’s where books like Say “Ahhh!” Dora Goes to the Doctor can help. In the story, Dora is having another one of her adventures; in this case, she is off to have a checkup at the doctor’s office. She does the things that most children do when they see the doctor, from walking into the office to greeting the nurse to playing with the different toys in the office.

Dora is measured, weighed, and has her temperature taken, just like any other child might have when visiting the doctor. The doctor listens to Dora’s heart with a stethoscope, and her instruments are portrayed on the wall and a shelf like they might be at an actual doctor’s office. Dora sits on the examination table like a child would as well, which is a great way to show children what the experience will look like.

All of the other examinations a child can expect, from his or her ears and reflexes being checked to their tummies being felt, are also included. I like the comprehensive nature of this, though shots aren’t included—and those might be helpful.

The book is overall a good introduction to what a check-up is like. I wouldn’t recommend this—or other Dora books—for learning Spanish, since the language is sparsely included and I think children learn language better through immersion; but as far as its goal in helping ease children’s fears about the doctor, I think it could really help.