Thursday, August 7, 2014

"You're Going to Shoot Me"

Nobody likes shots, especially kids! Caroline recently posted about preparing children for shots, and now I am going to leave you with some tips and tricks that you can try out. 

First things first, unless the child refers to the shot as a shot, try saying you are going to get some medicine that goes into your arm or leg. Using this language is less threatening to children

Next, Comfort Positions

Infants: Babies love to be held in the cradle position. Younger babies can be swaddled with their arm or leg left out. If your child uses a pacifier dip it into some sugar water, or you can ask your doctor if they have any sucrose solution.  Then give the baby the pacifier right before the shot. Afterwards feel free to cuddle, snuggle and feed your baby to offer more comfort.

Toddlers and Children that can fit on your lap: My favorite comfort position I learned during my internship is to have your child sit on your lap and face you. Basically it's a big hug and they can even wrap their legs around your body! 

Hopefully with these ideas you can advocate for your child and help prevent a nurse or doctor from having to hold your child down. 
Last Redirection 

Of course this works best if you have a child life specialist or another adult that can help with this part. Blowing bubbles or on a pinwheel, showing a spinning light, blowing into a kazoo, using Buzzy, singing a song, or looking at a book are all great distractions for children when they are getting a shot.
 My personal favorite is blowing on a pinwheel(a fun light up one); this encourages not only taking deep breaths to promote relaxation, but is also a distraction for the short time it takes to get a shot.

Curious about Buzzy? Buzzy is a combination vibration and cold device. Studies have shown a decrease in pain for injections, vaccines,  blood draws and even oral injections during dental procedures. Vibration (from the buzzy device) and Cold (from the frozen wings) essentially override the local nerves’ ability to sense pain 

Be Honest
  • DO NOT tell children that “it won’t hurt”
  • When kids ask "will it hurt" you can say, "you know, some kids aren't that bothered by it. I don't know how you will be, but if you want, we can try some things to make it more comfortable."
  • Offer as many choices as possible(sitting vs. laying down, comfort positions, watch or look away, etc.)
  • Don't forget to prepare before the doctor's visit as well! Here is Caroline's post all about Preparing for the doctor!