Dr. Kim Foster: Wicked Health


Parenting Win: Minimize Pain of Needles for Your Kids

(And For You!)

With flu season here (and now all this talk about H1N1 again) you might be thinking about taking yourself and your kids in for a shot. And the flu shot is not without controversy. But here’s one thing you shouldn’t let stop youthe issue of pain. And even more so, the issue of anxiety about said pain.

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Most kids have bad experiences when they come in for a needle if they start anticipating something terrible is about to happen. And the anxiety often ends up feeling more traumatic than the needle itself. Actually, most grownups are like this, too. It’s a regular experience for me to administer a needle to an adult only to hear them say, “Oh, well, that wasn’t so bad...”. Kids are the same—it’s just that they don’t have the filter stopping them kicking and struggling and crying in the waiting room, like grown-ups have. Er, most grown-ups.

Anyway, I’ve got good newsthere are specific ways to minimize the pain of a needle for kids, and ways to alleviate the anxiety that precedes the needle.

In fact, there’s a whole group of people who research such a thing. (Who knew, right?)

Here’s a short video that gives some basic pointers:

The video is just a starting point, of course. If you’re interested, The Center for Pediatric Pain Research has a lot more resources on this topic.

So how about you? Do you have any tricks for helping make needles easier for your kids?

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.