Shots and vaccinations are given to children to help protect them from many formerly fatal illnesses and diseases. While many parents understand the importance of getting vaccinations and other shots for the health and welfare of their children, your little ones likely don’t understand why they need to get sometimes painful shots when they visit the doctor. This can make these experiences very hard to cope with, both for your child and for you as the parent. So when you look at your child’s electronic medical record and see that they’re due for some booster shots, try the following tips to help make this process easier on everyone involved.
Help With Their Fears or Anxieties
If your child is old enough to remember getting shots previously, they may be feeling some fears and anxieties associated with these procedures. However, Dina Roth Port, a contributor to Parents.com, shares that there are some techniques you can employ to help ease your child’s fear of needles and shots. Some of these strategies include telling them the truth about getting shots, not focusing on the possibility of needing shots too much leading up to your doctor appointment, and averting their eyes from the sight of the needle. These three things can all help to take some of the anxiety about getting shots away so they don’t get too worked up about it beforehand.
Provide Distractions To Ease Pain
When the time comes to give the shots, one of the best things you can do for your scared child is to distract them from watching or paying attention to the shot. Ashlee Davis, a contributor to Health.com, recommends for you to find ways to distract your child so they can have their mind taken off the shot when it’s being administered. Some ways she suggests doing this are to blow bubbles, have them cough as the shot is going in, give them a sucker, or let them watch a video. Anything that takes their attention away from the nurse and gives them a small reprieve will make the process of getting the shot a lot easier to handle.
Addressing the Aftermath
Once the pain of the shot is felt, it can be a challenge to get your child calm and relaxed once more. For little babies, the CDC suggests swaddling, skin-to-skin contact or breastfeeding to help ease the pain of the shot. Older children can be helped by reminding them to breathe and offering support if they cry.
Not only can the immediate moments after the shot is given be hard, but some children have other reactions to shots, like fever or pain at the site of the injection. You can help your child feel better from these situations by offering appropriate medication, applying cool compresses, and pushing lots of fluids.
Although getting shots isn’t always a pleasant experience, it’s best for your child’s health to be protected from all possible illnesses. Use the tips mentioned above to make your child’s next doctor appointment a gentler experience for everyone.