6 Ways To Distract Your Child During Shots

August 13, 2022

There are very few people who like getting shots. For a child, shots are accompanied by pain and a realm of the unknown. However, per the CDC, vaccines can prevent serious diseases that at one point caused mass death of many infants, children, and adults. Without vaccines, children are subject to severe illness or death. So though uncomfortable, it is always favorable to prevent a disease before it occurs. Here are 6 ways to distract your child during shots.

How To Distract Your Child During Shots

Holly Springs Pediatrics understands it is normal for your child to be nervous before a doctor’s visit, especially if shots are involved. Additionally, some children may feel uncomfortable or slightly unwell the days following, but most reactions will subside between 12 and 24 hours. With a small capacity for injury or harm, the injection itself is often the most challenging part. 

Breastfeed, If Applicable

Breastfeeding helps keep your baby healthy as it protects against allergens, sickness, disease and lessens the chance of an upset stomach. Aside from the physical benefits, breastfeeding also offers psychological benefits, such as the bonding between mother and baby with skin-to-skin contact. Breastfeeding is a great way to keep your baby calm and relaxed during shots and can even help reduce the pain.

Be Honest And Keep Your Cool

Kids are incredibly intelligent and can often pick up on your cues. That said, if you are nervous for them, they are likely to fixate on that emotion and end up feeling anxious, too. Additionally, being honest is always key. Explain to your child that they’ll feel some pressure that will go away really quickly! Keep a calm, upbeat, and supportive outwards attitude.

Bring Your Own Numbing Cream

Some pediatricians and doctors’ offices offer numbing cream, but some don’t. To ensure your child’s shots go as smoothly as possible, being prepared and having your own is key. Be aware that some numbing creams can take up to an hour to work, so make sure to plan in advance. Another option similar to numbing cream is a cooling spray. Both work great and choosing one or the other is up to your discretion!

Try Something Sweet

When you see a kid with a lollipop after the doctor’s office, it’s more than just a coincidence. Studies suggest sugar can help take the sting out of vaccinations, all while posing a distraction. In this study, the pain-relieving effects of sugar benefited healthy 2-4-month-old infants. To distract your child during shots, try keeping something sweet on hand.

Bring Distractions

Having distractions on hand to occupy your child is probably nothing new. Try bringing your child’s favorite stuffed animal or an iPad so they can watch their favorite show. If you forgot to bring distractions or didn’t know your child was getting a shot, you can sing a song, tell a joke, or do anything to keep your child’s attention away from receiving the shot.

Post Shot Comfort

Last but certainly not least, it is important for you to instill positive associations with shots. Some great ways to do this include treating your child to their favorite dinner, the ice cream shop, or extra hugs and kisses!

Additionally, advancements in medicine continue to create solutions for adults and children alike. Combination vaccines take two or more vaccines that originally were given individually and combine them into one shot. According to the CDC, many vaccines are so common they have coined their own abbreviation, or MMR, which stands for measles, mumps, and rubella. To reduce the number of shots your child gets, inquire about combination vaccines. 

With these few tips, comforting your child during their vaccination appointments will be a breeze. Should you have any questions about the before or after of the vaccination process, it may be beneficial to compile a list prior to the appointment. Here at Holly Springs Pediatrics, we are ready to answer all your questions, including more ways to distract your child during shots. Request an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 249-4700.