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Is your child scared of needles? Try these 8 positive ways to help

Is your child scared of needles? 
Try these 8 positive ways to help:

1. Consider when to tell your child they need an injection. Avoid telling them weeks or even days beforehand, but perhaps leave it to a day or two before the appointment. When you tell your child, be calm and reassuring. Explain why they need the injection….to stay well and healthy.

2. Avoid lying to your child that the procedure won’t hurt. Hiding information about what is going to happen could cause resentment, fear, or trust issues. Talk to your child matter-of-factly about what is going to happen. Say something like, “You have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. You’ll be getting a couple of shots. I just wanted to let you know.” Be sure to answer any questions she might have and be honest. “Yes, it might hurt or pinch a little, but it will be over fast.”

3. Before the appointment, let your child see Buzzy and explain how he works. Buzzy’s vibration works by interfering with the pain signals running to your brain. His ice cold wings numb the skin and he provides a distraction to what is happening.

4. The day of the appointment, be organised. Make sure you aren’t running late or rushing. Be happy and relaxed. Consider arranging to bring a friend, partner or family member. Keep a drink and snacks in your bag.

5. If you child has a special toy, blankie or dummy, bring it along. Depending on the age of your child, consider other forms of distraction such as an ipad or photos on your phone. Practice with the Buzzy Distraction Cards.

6. During the procedure act relaxed, positive and supportive. It is well known that your behaviour influences the amount of pain and distress your child feels. Your child will pick up on your anxiety. Be supportive, but not excessive. Research suggests humour and distraction tend to decrease distress.

7. At the appointment offer reassuring smiles, words of encouragement and a reward for making it through the procedure. If you or your child are particularly nervous, let the nurse know.

8. After the procedure give plenty of praise and gives hugs.