Shots, jabs, pokes, or injections–whatever your child calls them, kids (and even most adults) are never too keen about getting them.
But in the worlds of our brave and young patients who we treat at Pediatric Rheumatology Consultants — like Sarah-Beth — shots are often a part of their daily routine.
Our amazing nursing staff each has their own gentle touch and unique technique for comforting patients when administering injections here at the clinic, but many of our patients also have to receive shots at home from their parents or caregivers.
Wherever your child’s regular injections take place, there are few things that board-certified pediatric rheumatologist Dr. Ruy Carrasco and our staff suggest you can do to calm the fear and anxieties that are associated with getting a shot.
How to Ease Shots for Kids
- Prepare them mentally for their shots as soon as you establish a regular schedule. Give them time to process and understand what will happen, and allow them to plan ahead like having a special toy, fidget, or stuffed animal with them.
- Distract them from what is going on while giving the shot. Sing songs, tell jokes, put on a favorite show, or discuss plans for doing something they enjoy later in the day.
- Reward them for being brave as they endure their treatment. It can be simple verbal praise, tiny treats like stickers, or something bigger like an outing to a favorite restaurant or activity spot.
- Allow them to exercise some control over the decision-making that goes along with regular injections. Let them pick which arm gets jabbed, or choose where in the house it happens.
- Address the actual pain they are expecting and then subsequently feel following a shot. Numb the area beforehand with ice or a numbing medication, and then offer a mild pain reliever afterwards if necessary and as directed by your physician. Be sure to validate their feelings when they say it hurts, and avoid arguing with them that it does not.
For helpful video instructions on administering the many injectable medications we frequently prescribe to our patients, click here.
Pediatric Rheumatology Consultants treats a wide range of autoimmune disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system in children and teenagers. Our team includes the expertise of Dr. Carrasco along with the compassionate care of our experienced nurses. Please visit us here to schedule an appointment.
(Adapted from Seattle Children’s Hospital)