Advertisement

What are some ways to help a child who gets frequent shots?

First, ask the nurse or doctor to apply numbing EMLA cream to the injection site about one hour before the needle stick. Other tips:

  • Explain the need for the needle in language your child will understand. You might say, “The doctors need to look at your blood so they’ll know what medicines will work best,” or “This shot will make you feel better.”
  • Don’t fib and say the needle won’t hurt. Tell your child it will pinch or sting for just a second or two and then go away.
  • Distract your child with an iPod, stories, video games, or a coloring book so he’s not obsessing over the needle stick.
  • If your youngster needs regular shots, make a reward chart and offer a sticker or other small treat every time your child cooperates.
  • If he’s old enough, help your child feel that he can control some aspect of his situation, such as deciding which arm to have blood drawn from, or which day a test will be performed, or what treat he’ll get for behaving well.
  • If your child needs regular shots and his anxiety level isn’t diminishing, find a different staffer or doctor to administer the shots, or ask if there’s a child life specialist or social worker who can help ease his nerves. Don’t stick it to your child by staying stuck.

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

More About this Book

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent,...

Continue Learning about Children's Health

Exercise in Class to Maximize Learning
Exercise in Class to Maximize Learning
Ryan Fitzpatrick played sports from a very young age, but before becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL (he’s the first QB to throw four touchdown...
Read More
How can I reduce my child's exposure to junk food commercials?
Jodie ShieldJodie Shield
Here are some tips to help you wean your child or teen off a steady stream of junk food commerci...
More Answers
6 Ways to Stop Bedwetting
6 Ways to Stop Bedwetting6 Ways to Stop Bedwetting6 Ways to Stop Bedwetting6 Ways to Stop Bedwetting
These six strategies can help your child get a handle on bedwetting.
Start Slideshow
Does Healthy Food Have to Be More Expensive and Less Available?
Does Healthy Food Have to Be More Expensive and Less Available?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.