You’d be hard pressed to find one child who enjoys getting their shots. Not only do needles hurt, but going to the doctor can be scary too. Yet, getting their shots is crucial to protect them against many of the diseases that have already been eradicated, but can still be contracted and are deadly.
Moreover, no matter if your child knows that the shot will only take a second, they will still put up a fight and no parent wants to see their child in that condition. Here are 5 tips for helping kids overcome their fear of shots and needles.
- One of the best ways to help your kids overcome their fear of shots is to talk with them before hand and during the process. Pain management doctors say that one of the best ways to get through pain is with distraction. Before the shot, why not comfort your child and let them know that it will only take a second. During the shot, be sure to start a fun conversation that will take their mind away from getting their shots.
- Next, fear of needles is a natural instinct for people of any age. One extreme measure that you can take to assuage your child’s fear of getting immunized is to get a shot yourself. Sometimes the camaraderie can ease their trepidation and make it more tolerable. How many times when you were a child did you get angry simply because no one else was getting their shots?
- Another great way to help your kids overcome their fear of needles is to positively reward them each time they get immunized. You can take them to their favorite restaurant or buy them an ice cream, or anything else that they might love, after they’ve gotten their shots. It is best to develop this rapport when they are younger so that each time they have to go to the doctor it isn’t so much of a hassle.
- For kids, sometimes the fear can be worse just by waiting in the cold doctor’s office waiting for the shot. If your child is especially afraid of needles, be sure to warn the nurses so that they can limit the wait time. The best way to limit your child’s fear is to go in as fast as possible, get immunized and leave. If they develop in their minds that the doctor’s office is a torture chamber, the more they won’t want to go the next time around.
- Lastly, there are a lot of numbing agents that can be put on the skin that can reduce the pain of the needle once it goes in. If your child is particularly sensitive to the pain of needles, be sure to tell your doctor so that he or she can prepare the nurses. More than anything, you want to make sure everyone in the doctor’s office is both sympathetic of your child’s fear and prepared to the best of their ability to deal with it.