The ongoing news with the H1N1 virus has me thinking a lot about vaccinations lately, and I thought it might make a good topic for this blog. Not anything controversial, mind you, just some ideas for making shots hurt less. Most of us know about trying a children’s pain reliever before the injection and rubbing the site afterwards, but here are a few more tips for easing the Woe and Angst:
Do the ouchiest one last. Researchers did a study on whether the order of shots, in the case of multiple immunizations during one visit, affects pain in infants. The results suggest pain consistently increases from the first injection to the second, so children experience less pain overall if they’re started with the least painful vaccination first.
Distract from the pain. Older kids respond to distraction during injections. One suggestion is to try holding up a feather and asking your child to blow on it just as they’re getting their shot. Another idea is to swab a small amount of alcohol on the opposite arm that’s getting the injection, and having your child blow on the alcohol before and during the shot. The feeling of pain should be reduced, as the body focuses on the sensation of cold instead.
Ask to block the shot. The Shot Blocker is a plastic device that uses pressure to numb the injection area, some doctor’s offices will use them on request.
Chill the boo-boo. Try a reusable, nontoxic Boo Boo Buddy cold pack to distract your child and cool the injected arm after the shot.
Try a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. Okay, maybe not a heaping spoonful, but research shows infants who are dosed with a small amount of sugar solution prior to injection seem to tolerate pain better. So give your kid a Krispy Kreme before his shots! Or, you know, a little bit of sucrose and water.
Do you have any tricks for dialing down needle-related unhappiness?