Vaccines.. they don't have to hurt! Evidence based tips to Help Kids cope

The dreaded vaccine needles....  

Although we strongly believe that all children should be vaccinated, we are the first to admit that we both struggle with vaccination time!  It can be quite painful for mom, and babe!

We love the new campaign out, #ITDOESNTHAVETOHURT and we were inspired to learn more about this evidence-based pain care, in order to help our little ones deal with child-hood needles or how to better cope in any situation that requires potentially 'painful' medical attention.

Recently we interviewed Child Life Specialist Christine Shadd, who works at SickKids Hospital, asking her what are the best tips for reducing pain and helping our children cope with needles! 

8 Tips to help during needles 

1.       Don’t lie to your kids if they ask if there is going to be a needle, or if it will hurt, tell them the truth.

2.        If needed you can request the use of numbing creams, sugar water or breastfeeding is great to do during vaccines!

3.       Use comfortable positioning, for example being cradled in arms

4.       For older kids if you can, give them a job, like holding the bandaids or cotton balls

5.       Don't forget about the magic of distraction!!! (blowing bubbles, smart phone/iPad, singing, toys)

6.       If you are anxious about needles, do not share that with your child.  Do NOT say in front of your child that you or spouse struggle with needles, have a calm soft voice while using POSITIVE words

7.     Don’t tell them “it’s going to be ok” or “it won’t last long”. rather tell them they are doing a great job holding still or count to ten with them for distraction

8.       Be prepared with immediate reward (i.e. lollipop, small toy, stickers…whatever they will be excited about)

 

Want to hear more of her amazing tips?  Click the video below!

 

Here are some amazing links that we LOVE!

About Kids Health – Painfree Injections in Babies

http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/TestsAndTreatments/GivingMedication/Pages/Painfree-Injections-in-Babies.aspx

It Doesn’t Have to Hurt Campaign

http://pediatric-pain.ca/it-doesnt-have-to-hurt

Baby laughing while getting vaccines – Dr. Darden, Maryland (YouTube)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOOxpT9q2mo

Christine Shadd, BA, CCLS Certified Child Life Specialist – Outpatient Clinics The Hospital for Sick Children

Christine Shadd, BA, CCLS

Certified Child Life Specialist – Outpatient Clinics

The Hospital for Sick Children