Building a Kid-Friendly Practice
By Karlos Boghosian, DC
Chiropractors have long cared for children, and adults who are already chiropractic patients themselves are seeking spinal care for their active kids. As such, chiropractic care centers continue to evolve, and orienting your practice around these audiences is imperative to fulfilling their unique needs.
Simple strategies for incorporating kids' chiropractic care into your practice can take you to new levels of preparedness. Here are a few to consider:
Start With Your Reception Area
Heading to a doctor can be a fear-inducing experience for children. That fear is amplified when visiting a practice that isn't geared to remedy their fears.
Consider structuring a portion of your welcome area with a kid-friendly tilt, providing a small area with books, games and even pamphlets written with children in mind to help calm the nerves of an apprehensive child.
You want children to be at ease during their visits, and greeting them with a comfortable environment is step one.
Knowledge Is Power
Breakthroughs happen regularly when we're discussing improved care, and kids' chiropractic is often the beneficiary. Whether by studies and research via child-oriented associations, there is no shortage of resources for practicing chiropractors to utilize when exploring ways to orient their practice toward children's spinal care:
Utilize these resources to ensure you're prepared to respond to questions parents are sure to bring up related to sports injuries, physical traumas, technology use, and more.
For example, children increasingly use technology, a phenomenon that could have long-term effects on their spinal health. Keeping this in mind, you can provide tips and hints to parents on how their children can avoid "microtraumas" and incorporate chiropractic care for their families. The goal is simple: make chiropractic care a lifestyle.
Reach Out to Your Community
Working with local schools and youth groups benefits both children and educators. For kids, a simple and fun workshop on spinal function can go a long way in setting them up for ongoing spinal health. Whether it's how to properly carry their heavy backpacks or using an iPad the right way when studying, an interactive demonstration is key to planting spinal health seeds in the minds of America's youth.
For educators, a similar workshop can help them assist their students who may not have proper posture while in the classroom. When teachers see children slouching, they can help them understand how it could be a detriment to their health. You can provide children, parents and educators with information that supports the value of chiropractic care and establishes you as an expert in the field.
You also should consider sponsoring community events – specifically those that are more kid-friendly – to educate and support both parents and children.
For example, my clinic recently supported youth in the Hartford, Conn., area through a donation to a group of youth members at the Asylum Hill Boys and Girls Club, with the goal of introducing curriculum that teaches healthy habits and positive life choices.
Over the years, many patients have reported tremendous benefits for their children's health as a result of chiropractic care. To properly care for our youth, the burden is on us to consistently educate ourselves and parents, all while keeping kids in mind when designing and orienting your practice.
Whether you're actively caring for kids or focused on adults, at some point, many of your adult patients' children could become patients. Make sure they become your patients, not someone else's.
Dr. Karlos Boghosian is the current president of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization whose membership is comprised of the U.S. chiropractic licensing boards, certain Canadian provincial registration boards, and the chiropractic licensing board of New Zealand.Â FCLB lessens burdens on state government by providing programs and services to its membership.