The holiday season is here. Time for new toys, good food, and no school (we actually love school but the kids aren’t always aboard with that sentiment)! Unfortunately, the winter holidays also coincide with cold and flu season. Not only are kids home all day anyway. Parents are more likely to take them to the doctor for even minor illnesses because nobody wants a sick child during the holidays. Over the last few years caregivers are also being more cautious due to the chance of contracting a serious flu virus.
This means waiting rooms full of children who would rather be playing and stressed out parents who are just SURE their child is coming down with something awful. To make things easier and less hurried for everyone, it is important to have a family friendly waiting room that parents and their kids don’t mind spending a little time in.
Spruce up your waiting area by:
Providing adequate reading materials for the grown ups. Sure, they could bring a book, but when your child is sick it’s easy to forget things. Free reading materials that you can find around town are not enough (most parents have those anyway…they’re free). Find magazines related to children of various ages, gossip magazines, and books of short stories. And remember, dads take their kids to the doctor too, so bring in some reading materials with fishing, car, hunting, or bodybuilding themes. Special magazines for teens may also be appreciated.
Have plenty of waiting room toys on hand. Its’ best to choose things that kids of all ages can enjoy, like play tables, puzzles, and play cubes. The best toys are those that appeal for children of both sexes and that will not break or run out of batteries with heavy usage. Also, it’s not a good idea to try and save money by purchasing second hand goods at your local consignment shop. These stores do not generally promise anything in terms of quality, and you’ll likely wind up replacing toys three times as often. Plus, toys that are easily broken may be a hazard to small children.
Make sure the seating is comfortable. Just because you are serious about your business, does not mean your waiting room has to feature uncomfortable beige chairs with metal arms and legs. There are plenty of ultra plush children’s seating in bright colors, as well as larger versions for adults and teens. If clients are encouraged to kick back and relax while they wait, they will be much less likely to complain about how long things are taking. It also sets the stage for more relaxed children. If they associate your business with fun and comfort instead of stress, it may be easier to get them to cooperate during certain procedures like shots or taking yucky medicines.