How to Reduce Vaccine Fear in Children?

Vaccinating your kids and respecting vaccineschedule through a pill reminder app is a must to protect them against serious infections.

The fact that most shots are given through a needle frightens both children and parents. This fear often leads parents to use delaying tactics, leaving their children exposed to various harmful viruses.

The attitude of parents toward vaccination also affects children’s perception as they learn from their parents how to act and feel towards it.

Parents with needle phobia and fear of vaccination can unknowingly transfer these to their children who need immunizations. Here we will discuss some effective strategies to reduce the fear of needles in children. If you have a child suffering from same, read on.

Prepare Children

As mentioned above, parent’s attitude is the key in how children see immunizations. Fearful parents cause distress in their children while parents with a calm attitude make kids feel more relaxed during vaccinations. So, as a parent, you should act as composed as possible and calmly explain what’s going to happen poses no threat to her.

Here are some useful tips to introduce calmness in your kid before receiving vaccines:

  • Discuss the process with the child and answer her questions. Explain why it is needed and what negative effects may occur if she doesn’t take them.
  • Describe how the vaccination appointment will proceed.
  • Don’t ever give your child vaccines as a punishment. Once the child starts seeing them that way, she will always fear the process.
  • Telling the kid that injection will be painless never works. The better option is to tell her that there will be a slight pain which will not last long.
  • Give your child examples of other kids who receive vaccinations.
  • Stay calm and smile.
  • Take a deep breath and relax to reduce the stress.
  • After the shots, congratulate your child.

Breastfeed Your Baby

Breastfeeding is a really cool way to keep your baby calm during immunizations as it keeps her calm and reassured. Health specialists state that babies do not feel pain of injection when being breastfed.

Holding your baby in a cradle position is the best way to breastfeed her during vaccination. This position enables the baby’s head to rest on your forearm and keeps her feet out of the way, making it simple for the specialist to inject on buttocks without baby catching the sight of it.

Use Distraction Techniques

Here are some distraction techniques that reduce pain and anxiety of the child before vaccination:

  • Distract your child by using a technique that will keep several of her senses (sight, hearing, touch) busy. Encourage the child to participate actively in the distraction. The more he or she participates, the better it will work.
  • Keep in mind that your distraction techniques should never get in the way of vaccinator or he/she may end up giving the wrong shot.
  • Toys are a great distraction for kids so bring with you plenty of them to the clinic/hospital. However, you must ask beforehand what types of toys are allowed during appointments booked through a medicine tracker app.

Use Numbing Creams Before Vaccines

Numbing creams contain lidocaine and prilocaine that can reduce pain in half. These are safe for both children and adults and take up to 20-60 minutes to take full effect. Before going with a particular brand, we suggest you consult with a specialist. Also, ask beforehand where the shot will be given, so that area can be numbed in advance.

  • Before using a numbing cream, carefully read its instructions. Follow all precautions and keep it away from eyes and mouth.
  • As we told earlier, apply the cream 20-60 minutes before the vaccination.
  • Apply it on the area to be vaccinated. Upper outer thigh and upper arm are the most commonly vaccinated parts.

When a child is receiving vaccines in more than one place, apply numbing creams to all those places.

Reactions such as pale skin or itch may occur in areas where the cream is applied. Don’t worry if any of these effects appear as they will go way themselves in a few hours.

After Vaccine Pain Relief

The post vaccine pain can be relieved using analgesics. Analgesics are not effective for relieving needle pain, therefore using them to relief pre-vaccination pain is not recommended.

Analgesics comes in syrup as well as tablet forms such as acetaminophen and Ibuprofen.

Read instructions carefully before taking an analgesic.

Sugar Solution

Giving babies who are 2 or less than 2 years old a sugar solution is an effective pain-relieving technique.

Many parents try to use this solution to soothe crying babies. However, this is not the ideal use of this solution. It should only be used to relieve pain during vaccination.

Also, do not substitute it with honey as it can result in serious food poisoning.

The solution should be given 1-2 minutes before the injection through a cup, spoon or syringe.

For babies less than one-year-old, you can dip a pacifier in the solution.

Do not use this solution if you plan on breastfeeding your child during the vaccination.

Keep Kids Close

Keeping the baby close gives her comfort. If your child doesn’t sit still, gently stabilize her using your arms for the injection. Do not use force or press hard as it will make her feel restrained.

Final Word

So, these are some useful tips to reduce needle phobia in your child. The fear of needles prevents children from receiving vaccines, which can cause serious damage to their health. If none of the mentioned techniques work, consider taking your child to exposure therapy sessions, which are particularly designed to help people fight their fears. And lastly, if you are having troubles in following your kid’s vaccine schedule, download a medication reminder app on your phone to feel at ease.