Updated 04 March 2014

Take the sting out of injections

Kids don't like injections any more than adults do. But sometimes we just don't have a choice. Here's how to make injections less scary for your child.

The following tips may be useful for parents of children who need to have injections of any kind:

- Explain ahead of time that the shot will sting a little, but that it will help a lot more.

 - Consider telling your child exactly what to expect and why he should, for example, keep his arm still. You can use a teddy or doll to mimic the experience at home before you visit the doctor.

 - Reassure your child that you’ll remain with him while he gets his injection or his blood drawn. Hold his hand, give him a hug or let him sit on your lap while getting the shot (if possible).

 - Let the nurse or doctor know ahead of time that the child is afraid of shots. Ask them to consider using a local anaesthetic.

- Take the child’s mind off the shot by bringing along a favourite toy or book.

- Encourage your little one to count, talk, sing a song with you, or distract him with a picture on the wall. He should know, however, that it’s okay to cry if he wants to.

 - Let the child wear earphones and listen to his favourite song.

- Try not to look upset or concerned.

- Encourage your child to breathe deeply and relax.

 - Encouraging the child to cough as the needle enters the skin may also help to reduce pain.

- Have something fun planned for after the appointment.

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