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4 Ways to Make Immunizations Less Scary for Kids

Your child's vaccination appointment doesn't have to cause stress. Learn about simple ways you can prepare your child beforehand and offer comfort during and after the shots.

When your child is scheduled to receive an immunization, it’s your job as a parent to prepare him ahead of time and make the process less stressful. Many children feel anxious or afraid when they have to get a shot but with the right approach, you can make it much easier for your kids. Here are four important things you can do to make shots more comfortable for your child.

Prepare Your Child

Getting your child ready to receive an immunization days before the appointment helps to alleviate stress and build his confidence. Explain to him in a way he will understand that shots keep people healthy and prevent them from getting sick. It’s important to stay positive and let your child know that vaccines are not negative or a punishment for bad behavior.

Offer Distractions

Distracting your child during the immunization can help reduce some of the anxiety and pain. Good distractions can be singing a song, blowing bubbles, or letting him play a game on your phone. You can also nurse a breastfeeding child while they receive a shot to provide a calming distraction.

Dull the Pain

Numbing your child’s skin right before the shot can help him prepare for pain and reduce any discomfort he may feel. Try placing some ice on the injection site for a minute beforehand to dull the pain. You could even use a topical cream or patch made with a local anesthetic to help alleviate any sensation he may feel.

Provide Post-Shot Comfort

After your child receives his vaccinations, speak to him in a soothing voice and show your support to bring him comfort. Tell your child you know that shot was scary and you are proud of him for getting through it. Never scold or shame your child even if he screamed and cried the entire time. Showing support now and praising him for being brave will help him act even braver the next time.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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