Gastonia’s pediatrics help reduce children’s anxiety during shots

Gastonia’s pediatrics agrees that needles are anything but pleasant. Still, they have a significant role to play in the lives of children. They assist in administering lifesaving vaccines, inserting an IV, and collecting blood for testing. While some genuinely fear needles, others can’t help themselves with the tension leading up to the shot. It’s sometimes worse than the pain itself. Parents should focus on reducing anxiety before the shot and distracting the child afterward. Children can quickly forget the shot if they have something to look forward to.

Tips and tricks for the vaccination season

Don’t hype

Once you tell your child about the shot four weeks prior, they will worry about it for four weeks. Waiting makes sure that they have less time to worry. Only give minimal, age-appropriate warnings to make your lives easier.

Get ready

Ask your kid’s doctor if giving your child a pain reliever thirty minutes before the shot would be okay. You could also apply a topical anesthetic cream to the spot one hour in advance.

Carry a treat

You can make shot time fun by rewarding your child with a snack. Let your child know about the treat, and be sure to remind them right before the shot. They will anticipate the pleasure rather than the needle. An option is to let them eat sugar or candy during the shot. Sweet taste eases pain, according to studies.

Create a distraction

Distract your child by talking about any other thing but the shot. Options include telling a funny story, singing their favorite song, reading a book, and making funny facial expressions. A smartphone or tablet, with video games or cartoons, can be a great distracting tool.

Keep it cool

Children take cues from their parents. If you look worried about the shot, your child will too. Similarly, acting like shots are no big deal will ease your child’s worry. Your child should not see your waiver. They should know the shot is essential and isn’t open for negotiation. No parent wants to see their child hurt, but a shot can prevent a worse situation in the future.

Swaddling for small babies

Studies show that swaddling, shushing, side/stomach position, sucking, and swinging reduce pain and crying during vaccinations. Still, swaddling was found to make the most significant difference of them all.

Tell your child to relax

It is especially true for older children. Teach them to take deep breaths and relax their muscles. The tenser they are, the more the shot will hurt going in.


Studies have shown that coughing before and right as the needle goes in minimizes the pain for some. An alternative is to have your child blow on a pinwheel.

Choose Gastonia’s best pediatrics

Children should be handled with care and by an experienced and passionate professional. Gastonia’s best pediatrics understand children and their behaviors and how to maneuver through tricky situations. Gastonia Pediatric Associates, your Gastonia area pediatricians, offers top-quality pediatric care.