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8 Tips To Help Your Child Deal With The Fear Of Injections

4 min read

Vaccinations are an integral part of childhood;. if not, they should be. Vaccinations do protect the children from many diseases, but they sure hurt. Of course, the needle, the smell of spirit and the doctor does make a child nervous, but on a brighter side, they are essential to prevent serious illnesses. Not only kids, parents are also often anxious as they know that this is not going to be a smooth experience. Kids are, of course, scared of shots and they have to get them so often. But is there something that can be done to ease a child’s fear of shots. Sure, there is, provided parents take a careful approach.
Fear of injection

8 Tips To Help Your Child Deal With The Fear Of Injections

Almost every parent wishes that the procedure of vaccinations was pain free and less traumatic for the child. Children are too young to understand that vaccinations are essential for them. However, parents can play an active role in changing the attitude of the child and therefore we have listed a few tips to help you in dealing with the needle fear of your child and smoothen the process:

  1. Be realistic: Do not falsely lure your kid to the doctor. Tell him that his jab is scheduled and they can’t miss it. If you take him along, saying that there will be no shot and it is administered, it may have worked this time, but next appointment will be very difficult. Your kid will lose trust in you. Explain your child why getting a shot is necessary, and how this shot is going to protect him. It is not a punishment, and make sure you never say things like “If you do not eat this, I will take you to the doctor to get a shot!.” Also, do not spoil an entire week by telling your kid that he has a vaccination on Monday. Mention it on the same day, so as to not make them too anxious by revealing too soon. Moreover the older your child gets, the better his memory and he may associate the doctor’s clinic to pain, poking and discomfort
  2. Distraction: Distractions probably work best in stressful situation both for children as well as adults. Consider adopting any of the below tactics and see what works for your child:
    • Sing a song or lullaby for babies
    • Show a video – cartoon or favorite movie
    • Let him hold his favorite comforting toy
    • Keep talking to them, perhaps about an upcoming event or gossip about class mate
    • Let him play on your phone
  3. Local Anesthetic: You may discuss the suitability of local anesthetic for your child with the pediatrician. A few creams are available in the market, which can temporarily numb the site. Alternatively, your pediatrician may do the needful. Usually, the local anesthetic is applied approximately 20 mins prior to administering injection. Always seek your pediatricians advice regarding this
  4. Post injection relief: Some children seek solace in their parents embrace after a stressful situation. We have also enlisted some nice tips to calm your child after a vaccination. Go ahead and offer the below to your kid.
      • Ice pack: Contemplating the situation, you may want to use a natural source for numbing your kids pain. Simply wrap a few ice cubes in napkin and keep it on the injection site
      • Rest: Let your child sit in your lap for sometime after the shot. Soothe the injection site by rubbing it and shower a lot of kisses

    child scared of shots

    • Painkillers: Do not give painkillers to your child unless advised by the doctor. Many pediatricians are against administering painkillers as they could interfere with the vaccinations
  5. Educate about shots: Sometimes you just need to help your kid understand that vaccines will help prevent deadly disease and keep them healthy. You can use interactive media so that children can see each and every step clearly and ensure that people stay healthy after immunization and most importantly the idea that pain is fleeting, it will pass
  6. Role play: If your child has adequate practice about what he is anticipating, the actual situation will remain more or less the same.
    • Play pinching game: You can pinch on the usual injection site and ask your kid, if it hurts. Gradually you may increase the intensity of pinching and let him do the same to you
    • Play Doctor-Doctor: Let your doctor step into the Doctor’s shoes and calm your fears of injection. And then you switch roles
    • Show videos: You may show a couple of videos in which young kids sit peacefully through the injection and behave normally afterwards
  7. Consider Reward: You must acknowledge the fact that vaccines are painful and therefore when your child calmly faces this situation, he should be awarded for the brave behavior. When you promise, do fulfill it! Positive reinforcement implies keeping the promises realistic, such as new toy or an ice-cream treat and hopefully your chum would be lured!
  8. Mind your behavior: Your kids are most sensitive to your anxiety and stress which quickly becomes their own. So firstly, you need to stay calm, smile and do not show any stress. Kids can sense a parent’s anxiety and that can make them wary. Be confident and chime in the reward waiting for your kid. Kids tend to become hyper to avoid a situations as they are confident that their parents will give in. If you think, you will melt, just step away briefly and let the doctor do his job

Try these steps and hopefully the next visit for shot will not be a fiasco. Even if immunization creates flutter in your tummy thinking about the fears of your child, remember that:
“Vaccines are the most cost-effective health care interventions there are. A dollar spent on a childhood vaccination not only helps save a life, but greatly reduces spending on future healthcare.” – Ezekeil Emanuel.
A bit of comfort and strong support is all it takes to steer your child from stressful situations.

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