Minimizing Pain When Your Child Receives Immunizations

Posted on

If you have a preschool-aged child, and they are due to get scheduled immunizations, you are most likely concerned about how they will react when their doctor administers their shots. A child of this age may be very upset when they realize their immunizations come a long with a pinprick, which may cause pain. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your child suffers from the least amount of pain when receiving their immunizations.

Get Ready To Provide Some Distractions

To help make immunization administration go by a bit easier, distracting your child with something they enjoy may make the procedure a bit less stressful. Bring a favorite toy or book to the pediatrician's office to divert your child's attention at the time shots are being given. Instead of bringing an already known toy or book, consider bringing along a surprise one. Your child will be delighted to be able to look at something new, possibly making the pain not as noticeable as a result. Another idea is to allow your child to play with your cell phone during the appointment. If you do not allow this practice regularly, your child will most likely be very excited to try a new game or watch a cartoon during the shot administration time.

Tell Your Child To Cough Before And During Shots

One great way to reduce the amount of pain felt during the administration of vaccinations, is with the "cough trick". In a 2010 study published in Pediatrics journal, it was found that children who coughed before receiving a shot, as well as when the needle was inserted into their body, did not suffer from as much pain as those who did not. Tell your child you are going to tell them exactly when to cough during the appointment. Make it a game by having them cough at random times throughout the appointment. Pretending to blow bubbles can have a similar result in pain minimization. 

Numb The Skin Before The Doctor's Appointment

Rubbing a topical anesthetic cream on your child's arms and legs before you leave your home to go to the pediatrician's office, may be beneficial in keeping pain at bay. EMLA cream will block the nerves which transmit impulses to the brain to alert your child the feeling of pain. Using this cream an hour or so before the appointment will ensure the cream is working at the time the immunizations are administered.

Talk to your pediatrician to get more information and ideas.