Shot. No ones like that word when at the doctor, whether it is an adult or a child. After all, it’s not pleasant to get a shot because it can be painful. However, often the lead-up to the event is actually worse than the event itself. As a new parent, you may have just as much fear of shots as your little one because you hate to see them in pain. Here are some tips to calming your child down when taking them to the doctor’s office for a necessary shot.
First off, educate yourself on the need for the shot, which is often a vaccine that can help them lead healthier lives. Read up on vaccine materials from your child’s doctor, jot down any questions you may have, bring your child’s immunization records with you, and don’t forget to pack your child’s favorite book, blanket, or toy to soothe them, advises the Centers for Disease Control. For older kids, let honesty be your guide. Don’t sugar coat the experience; let them know it will sting for a moment but that it will soon go away. If you tell them it won’t hurt at all, they won’t trust you the next time. Tell siblings to get in on the act to support the child getting the shot. Don’t allow any teasing or scary stories about shots. Older siblings can be notorious for this! Make sure they know it’s their responsibility to maintain a calm demeanor as well.
At the Office
According to Houston Vaccines, a provider of corporate immunizations, once at the doctor’s office, ask the nurse or doctor about any questions you may have regarding immunizations. Once you’re settled in and ready for the shot, stay calm and positive for your child, reassuring her she will be fine. Distract her with the favorite toy or book you brought, or you can even sing a fun little song. Keep a smile on your face and hold your child on your lap if this is comfortable for both of you. For older kids, distract them by pointing out things in the room, such as interesting photos, signs or collectibles. Tell stories of your favorite memories and talk about exciting plans you may have coming up. Above all, don’t yell at your child or demean them if they show fear.
After the Shots
After the shots have been administered and the bandage has been applied, congratulate your child on their bravery. A hug will suffice for an older child, while a baby or toddler may want a bottle or sippy cup of juice. Don’t forget to ask the doctor if it’s OK to give her pain relievers if the area is sore later. If your child develops a slight fever, this is common after getting a shot. Reduce swelling of the affected area with a cool compress if needed. Give your child plenty of liquids throughout the rest of the day. Perhaps your child won’t feel much like eating during those first 24 hours. This is also normal. Go over any information with your doctor about the vaccines and any side effects you can expect.
Taking your kids for a shot is never a pleasant experience, but your attitude can make all the difference!
This article was contributed on behalf of Houston Vaccines, where meningitis shots are available. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!