Minimizing Your Child's Fear of Shots
By Stephen R. Farris
There's nothing less fun for a child or infant than having to visit their physician to get a shot or blood test performed. The sheer site of a needle can be frightening and leave lifelong scars; who among us can't remember getting vaccinated as a kid? Seriously, just ask most any adult.
However, you as a parent or guardian can lessen their fears to a degree. While it may still be unpleasant, at least there's a chance you can keep those tears away.
"So baby hold on to me. Whatever will be, will be. The future is ours to see." There's a little truth in the first few lyrics of Eddie Money's hit single from 1977 -- my all-time favorite song by the way -- so when your child needs immunizing, hold them in your arms. There's nothing more soothing to a child than the physical attachment of a parent when they are faced with a fearful situation.
Hold on Tight
I'm very tempted to go into Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) mode right about now, but I won't. Instead, I will tell you that it helps to hold your child tight against you when they are getting their shot or blood drawn. It helps them contain their emotions better. While it works in most instances, there are times you might not be able to try this technique. So be prepared ahead of time.
Make Sure You Have Their Pacifier Handy
Pacifiers most always produce a calming effect for infants and early toddlers. Kind of like Linus and his blanket from the Charlie Brown cartoons.
Talk to Them During the Process
It's important to not only hold your child, but comfort them by talking with them or singing, since I've already given you a couple of song ideas. Use a passive voice. Tell them a story or play a picture game, it'll help keep them distracted until the doctor, nurse or lab technician is through administering the shot or drawing their blood.
There are many techniques you may try. These are some of the ones that seem to help with infants and small children the most. You can also check with your doctor or chiropractor before your child has to get their shots. They can offer tips and suggestions to help keep your child calm during the process.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aventura, Fla.