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How to prepare your child for immunizations

Published On: Jul 10 2013 10:36:06 AM CDT   Updated On: Aug 09 2013 09:13:49 AM CDT
Girl getting vaccination from doctor

iStock/Yarinca

For some children, getting immunizations can be stressful. Here are some tips parents can use to ease their child’s anxiety while getting shots.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the pain associated with most shots is minor. The organization says most kids fear the pain of the shot more than the injection actually hurts.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children have more anxiety when they receive multiple shots during a single doctor’s visit. However, the organization says that kids’ fears seem to ease as they get older.

The organization recommends that parents prepare their children in advance for immunizations. The American Academy of Pediatrics says to be honest with your child about getting the shots, how many they will receive, and explain that if it hurts the pain will only last for a short time.

For babies, especially newborns, who are too young to understand what is happening, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends putting a small amount of sugar on the baby’s tongue or pacifier to ease their worry over the shots. For older babies where the sugar no longer distracts them, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends holding the child and stroking him or her to ease the baby’s anxiety.

For older children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends distracting them during and after the shots. Telling the child stories, reading to them or making up little games can help ease their stress.

If you have any concerns over your child’s immunizations please seek the advice of a medical professional.

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