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Dad Tips for a Painless (almost) Shot at the Doctor’s Office

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 26-08-2007

There are few things worse than willingly inflicting pain on your child. But sometimes it’s necessary, and almost always during a trip to the doctor. Remember, if your child becomes hysterical faced with an incoming needle, it’s not because he’s a sissy. Kids have different pain tolerance and they are also very affected by your attitude toward the experience. Here are a few expert tips from a new study in “Pediatrics” to help avoid the pain.

  1. Numb up – some kids are more sensitive than others and there really is more pain. Ask the doctor whether a numbing gel might be right for your child.
  2. Play down the fear factor – If you wince or whimper when your child is getting a shot, your child is likely to take it more seriously. Don’t pooh-pooh his fears, but don’t unconsciously play into them.
  3. Be sweet to your child, with real sugar – a for babies 6 months old or younger, a packet of sugar in a half ounce of water, given in a syringe applicator, right before the shot can really help. You can also dip a pacifier in the sugary solution.
  4. Distract her – keep your child’s mind off the shot as much as possible, especially if she is already agonizing about it. Most kids won’t think about it until the nurse comes in with the tray, but don’t give your child any hints until the fateful moment.