To help children be as healthy as possible, many parents will find themselves in a doctor’s office for their child to get a shot. Whether this shot is a vaccination or a shot for something else, it’s not uncommon for children, especially ones who’ve had a bad experience with a doctor before, to be very nervous about this. And because your child is nervous, you might be nervous as well, as no parent likes to see their child scared or in pain.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your child feel safe and comfortable. To show you how this can be done, here are three tips for preparing your child to get a shot.
Keep Yourself Calm
Shots can be scary for parents for many reasons. In addition to your child not liking the physical pain of the actual needle, they could also have some side effects after the shot has been given. Because of this, you as the parent might feel just as much anxiety about your child getting a shot as your child does. However, even if you are feeling this way, it’s vital that you not show these emotions to your child.
According to Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a contributor to Seattle Children’s Hospital, your child will take their cue for how to act from you. So if you’re uneasy about the shot, your child is likely to be even more uneasy. But if you’re able to keep your emotions in check and act like getting a shot is nothing to be afraid of, your child is less likely to be so scared.
Find Some Good Distractions
When the time comes for your child to get their shot, seeing the needle come out can be very unsettling. So rather than allowing your child to see exactly what’s going on and watch as the needle goes into their arm or leg, you should try finding ways to distract him or her from what’s about to happen.
Heidi Murkoff of What To Expect shares that some of the best distractions for your kids when they’re getting shots are blowing bubbles, reading a book, or playing with a toy. If your child is distracted from the shot by something that they like, they’ll be less likely to lose it when the shot is about to happen, and they may not even feel it at all.
Plan For Pain Relief
After your child has had their shot, there will likely be some pain associated with where the needle went it. But by having a plan for how to deal with the pain, you can greatly mitigate it.
Dina Roth Port, a contributor to Parents.com, writes that some ways you can relieve the pain from a shot include over-the-counter pain medicine and fever reducers, rubbing the injection site, or applying a cold compress.
If you have a child who hates getting shots, consider using the tips mentioned above to help make this procedure much easier on everyone involved.