Helping A Nervous Child Cope With Vaccinations

Posted on: 2 December 2017

If your child's extreme reaction to routine vaccinations has led you to delay their most recent well check or even consider holding them back from starting kindergarten, you may be wondering whether there's anything you can do to make this process easier. Vaccination anxiety is fairly common, but some children have a far rougher time with this fear than others, and parents can find themselves torn between wanting to avoid further trauma and also avoid preventable diseases. Read on for some tips and tricks that can help your nervous child cope with routine vaccines. 

Role-Play Before Your Visit

Many children find it comforting to act out situations before they happen, giving them a road map of what to expect and allowing them to practice various reactions. By working with your child to mime the process of giving a vaccination, you'll be able to help him or her call back on these memories when the day arrives.

You may even want to go so far as giving your child a small pinch on the arm to simulate the needle, then asking him or her whether the spot still hurts a few minutes later. Once your child has a better concept of the fleeting nature of injection-site pain, he or she may be much calmer when it's time to be injected.  

Enlist Your Child's Pediatrician to Help

Often, the presence of a parent--while usually comforting--can be distracting for a child who is preoccupied with a stressful event. Your strong emotional connection with your child can heighten both your stress levels as you await the moment of the vaccination. If your child's pediatrician is willing to take the lead on this process, you may opt to turn your child over to the doctor for the exam and vaccination, spending your time in the waiting room so that your child can be more easily distracted by the nursing staff.  

See if Synchronized Vaccinations Are an Option

If your child needs several shots during the same visit but is unlikely to tolerate a series of them, it can be worthwhile to see whether synchronized vaccinations are an option. By having two or more nurses inject your child simultaneously, you'll make sure your child receives all the necessary shots without unnecessarily prolonging the process. While synchronized vaccinations may be more painful than separate shots, they are also much faster, helping you get the process over with as quickly as possible.

Contact a clinic, like Port City Pediatrics , for more help.