As a parent, it’s hard to know how to prepare your child for a shot. You know vaccinations and flu shots are good for your child, but you hate to watch your child suffer. Here are some tips and tricks to help this vaccination season go a little easier for your child and you.
Bring a Treat
Make shot time a little more fun by rewarding your child with a snack. Make sure to let your child know about the treat. Remind your child about the treat right before he or she gets the shot. That way, your child can anticipate the treat instead of the needle. If you make the treat a ritual, next shot time won’t be so bad. Letting them eat sugar or candy during the shot can also help. The sweet taste eases the pain.
Create a Distraction
Talk to your child about anything but the shot. Tell a funny story, read a book, sing a favorite song or maybe make crazy faces. If you’re good, your child won’t even notice the needle going in.
Stop the Hype
If you tell your child about the shot three weeks in advance, then your child has three weeks to worry about it. If you wait, your child has less time to make himself sick with worry. Make your child’s life (and yours) easier by giving minimal, age-appropriate warnings.
Ask your pediatrician if it would be okay to give your child a pain reliever about 30 minutes before the shot. Applying some topical anesthetic cream to the spot an hour before can also help.
Children take their cues from us. If you are worried about the shot, your child will be too. If you act like getting a shot is no big deal, you will help ease your child’s worry. Of course you don’t want to see your child hurt. Just keep in mind that a little needle now can prevent something even worse down the road.
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