Immunizations: Preparing For An Easier Vaccination Visit

Health & Medical Blog

Immunizations protect your child from a host of illnesses that can be serious and even life-threatening, but it's hard to explain the necessity to a child facing a syringe.  A little preparation ahead of time can help make a doctor's visit that includes vaccines easier on everyone involved.  Even for a very young child, there are a few ways to make the visit easier on the child, and on the parent too.

Honesty is Best.  If your child is old enough to understand, it's best to be honest about the upcoming vaccine.  Explain to your child that it will sting a little, but that the pain will be brief and it's very important to help them stay healthy.  Answer any questions as honestly as you can, and let the child know he or she can ask the doctor anything they like before the vaccination.

Distraction Techniques.  If your child has a favorite toy, blanket, or book, bring it along to your appointment.  These things can provide not only a distraction, but also a sense of comfort and familiarity in a scary situation.  Read the book or play a game with a toy while the shots are administered to make it go quickly, and your child might not even realize it's over.  Stay close, and if possible hold your child in your lap or hold their hands during the shot.

Your Response Matters.  Every parent feels that twinge when their child cries, but remember that what is reflected in your face will influence how your child responds.  Stay calm, smile at your child, and talk in a soothing and reassuring tone.  If your child sees that you are not upset, they are likely to handle the situation better.  Let your child know that you understand that the shot hurts, and it's okay to cry, but you know they will be just fine.

Read the Materials.  Your doctor will provide you with a fact sheet on the immunization your child is receiving.  Read it over carefully so that you know what the vaccination is for and what side effects are common, rare, and a cause for concern.  Take it home with you and keep it on hand for reference in case side effects do occur.

Pain Relief.  With your doctor's permission, you can give your child a dosage of pain relief to help with the pain in the injection area or other side effects such as fever or headache after the shot.  Be sure to discuss this with your pediatrician (like those at Willow Oak Pediatrics) to determine when you should give the medicine and what the correct dosage will be for your child.  Children grow fast, so your doctor will provide a dosage based on the weight of your child taken during the current visit.  A cool cloth or compress can also ease the pain at the vaccination site, which should fade quickly.


19 January 2015

Finding the Right Healthcare: Putting Families First

A few years ago, I experienced a huge health scare with my blood pressure. My doctor at the time didn't offer evening or late night care, which forced me to visit the local emergency room for help. Although it may seem like a small thing to some people, not having access to my doctor when I needed it really bothered me. It bothered me so much that I searched for a new doctor after my child was born. Now, I'm happy with my family's new physician. The doctor offers after-hour care, which is a wonderful thing for us. My blog offers tips on how to find the right doctor for your family, as well as many other services you might need one day. So, please read through the blog for the information you need now.