What are some ways to help my children cope with the anxiety and discomfort of shots? | by
Ask A Pediatrician
As a pediatrician, I know that childhood vaccines save lives and help keep kids healthy. As a parent of two, I also know shots are no fun. Fortunately, many of today’s childhood vaccines are offered as combination vaccines. Stick to the recommended schedule, keeping the pokes as few as possible.
The day of the shots, prepare by comparing the shot to something that kids understand. You could say: “It will hurt like scraping your knee, but then it will get better.” For older children, accept their fears and stay positive: “It’s OK to be scared. It will hurt for a few minutes, but it will keep you safe for a long time.”
During the shots, distract your child. For a baby, sing a favorite song or tell a story. Toddlers and small children love to blow bubbles, and the deep breathing can be calming. An older child can listen to music, tell jokes with a parent, or play on their phone.
After the shots, comfort your child. A baby can be rocked, nursed, or given a pacifier. Older children can have a favorite toy from home and lots of hugs and kisses. And always praise all kids, regardless of how brave they were.
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