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5 Ways to Make Shots Less Stressful

August 10, 2016

Even though you are keeping her safe from diseases, it's hard to see your child cry when she gets her shots. But you can take some steps before, during, and after a vaccine visit to ease the pain and stress of getting shots. 
1. Read about the shots your child will get in advance. 
CDC's vaccine webpage has a lot of useful information to help parents understand the importance of on-time vaccination," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
2. Be prepared.
You may want to bring your child's vaccine record to show the doctor, and pack a favorite toy, book, blanket or other comfort item. 
3. Comfort your child. 
Hold your child tightly on your lap, if you can. Take deep breaths with an older child to help blow out the pain. After the shot, hug, cuddle, and praise your child. For babies, swaddling, breastfeeding, or a bottle may offer quick relief. Also, engage other family members, especially older siblings, to support your child.
4. Be honest.
For older children, be honest, shots can pinch or sting, but not for long. Remind them that shots help keep them healthy. "My patients tend to do much better when the parent has prepared them for the immunizations to come. Toy doctor kits and books about getting shots can really help defuse the stress associated with vaccines and make kids familiar with the process," said Dr. Oltman, who practices from our Baker Center office. Avoid telling scary stories or making threats about shots. 
5. Note the aftercare for shots.
If you notice redness, soreness, or swelling from the shot, place a clean, cool washcloth on the area.  These reactions are usually mild and resolve on their own without needing treatment.  If your child runs a fever, try a cool sponge bath. You can also use a non-aspirin pain reliever if your doctor says it's OK. Some children eat less, sleep more, or act fussy for a day after they get shots. Make sure your child gets plenty to drink. If you're worried about anything, call your doctor.
Learn more about childhood vaccines or call 253-383-5777 to speak with a Pediatrics Northwest scheduler today. 

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