Reassuring older kids that shots don’t hurt that much

Giving a shot to an older kidIt’s common for toddlers and young children to be afraid of shots. Although I never had to chase my own kids to get them to hold still for a shot, lots of parents have to do this. What I have frequently noticed, however, is that older kids almost always end up being surprised that the shot hurt less than they thought it would. Why does this happen?

Not only do we all have fears, but we also have a tendency to remember our fears when faced with similar experiences in the future. That’s why most people hate going to the dentist even if they’re getting a cleaning instead of having a cavity fixed.

Although young children experience pain when they get shots, older kids are usually not that bothered by the shot itself. However, older kids are often worried about shots because they remember the pain they had in the past.

You may be able to help in this situation if you remind your child that shots haven’t hurt much in the last few years. Another way to deal with this is to have kids write themselves a note after the shot. Then, the following year, you can show them the note, which reminds the child the shot didn’t hurt that much.

Tag-Team Shots: Making Shots Less Painful

Tag Team Shots For most children, immunizations are the most stressful part of an annual checkup. We have a policy in my office that helps reduce the anxiety associated with this necessary evil. Whenever a child needs two vaccinations, we administer the shots simultaneously. This works for a couple of reasons. First, having two nurses in the room helps to distract the child. Second, receiving both shots at once reduces the pain, possibly because the child perceives them as one injection instead of two.