Injections - your kids may need an injection, but that doesn’t mean they’ll like getting them. Kids are often scared of the needle, and some adults continue to be scared of getting injections as they grow. But you can’t help it can you? Vaccinations are important and your kids need them so that they can be safe from various harmful diseases.
But that doesn’t mean your child should continue to feel scared or anxious every time there’s an upcoming injection. You can simply change the way your child feels about the injections, by making the experience different for them. With some cooperation from your pediatrician’s side, you can use the following tips to distract your child from the pain of injections and make injections a less dreadful experience for them:
1. Stress balls
Having a stress ball or those smiley balls will help distract your kid. Pretend like you are there for a check-up, and tell your child that the doctor would like to see how strongly you can press the ball with one hand. While the child is busy playing with this squeeze-toy, the doctor can inject him in the other arm. It may prick, but at the end of it, you can always let your little one know that they are super strong and brave. They’ll forget the pain easily as it would have formed only a small part of their experience.
Allow your child to enjoy themselves a little bit so that their pain is sidelined. Take a small toy, like bubble solution to blow bubbles, or a musical instrument like a mouth organ, that will keep your child very occupied and distracted while the doctor can slowly and gently inject them with minimum resistance.
Bubbles are not just for the park. They're a great fascination for little kids!
As babies and little kids, the sucking reflex can be a stress-buster. So in moderation, carry one or maybe two lollipops so that your child can feel at ease and at the same time, as if they are being rewarded for being brave and getting that injection. It may not help with the pain directly, but they will feel less stressed or afraid.
Take out your phone or check if there’s a TV in the room and watch your kid’s favourite videos with them. This can be a music video they enjoy, or a cartoon, or simply new videos that are meant for kids that will help them laugh and enjoy, keeping them distracted for when they are getting the injection. They’ll also be diverted from thinking about the fact that they are at the doctor’s office, and will be taken into the world of the cartoon they are watching instead.
5. Visual motions
Use movements and other visual cues to distract your child’s attention from the doctor. It can be a sand-clock or simply a desk toy that the pediatrician might have in his clinic. Pediatricians sometimes have a few toys around for kids so it doesn’t hurt to ask. If you don’t want to take that chance, you can always carry something that can give your child a little before the injection. The movement can be quite fascinating for kids to watch.
6. Pictures and pop up books
If your child has a favourite pop-up book, you can take it with you. You can either read it to them or tell them to show you the book themselves so they’re occupied and busy exploring while you can let the doctor give your child the injection.
Maybe after the vaccination, you could help your child calm down with these tips!
Every child is different, so try these tips and see what works for you. Remember that distraction is a really good tool when it comes to children feeling pain. What has worked for you? Let us know!