Injections are, unfortunately, a necessary part of life. Vaccinations protect against dangerous, life-threatening disease, while other shots are sometimes necessary to ease disease symptoms, to anaesthetise or to boost immunity.
Time for a jab? Make sure you’re prepared for what can be an uncomfortable visit to the hospital, clinic or doctor’s room:
• 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.
- (Hayden Horner, Health24, October 2014)