CLEVELAND, OH — Getting a vaccine to strengthen the immune starts as early as babies, yet sometimes, the experience can be stressful for children.
According to University Hospital Rainbow Babies and Children, there are some ways to support babies and children before, during, and after shots.
The first thing parents must do is to prepare for the visit. Parents could make the experience less stressful by packing the child’s favorite items like toys, books, or blankets to comfort them during vaccinations.
Parents can also tell their children what vaccination is and how it can cause a bit of pain. Be honest and explain in a simple way so that children can understand. Avoid telling them scary stories about threats and shots.
Parents can soothe their babies and children during the vaccination by cuddling, singing, or talking softly to the kids. Parents can also smile and make eye contact, assuring the children that everything will be okay, comfort the kids with their favorite items, and hold them whenever possible.
While the vaccination took place, try to distract them with their favorite song, a stress ball, or anything that could distract them. Once finished, make sure to reassure the kids that everything is okay.
For older children and adolescents, never scold the child for not “being brave” with getting vaccinated. Try to distract them as much with things you could find in the room, and always support them if they cried during vaccination.
Lastly, tell the children to take a deep breath before getting vaccinated. Fainting is expected among adolescents after getting their shot. To prevent the injury from happening, they should remain seated for about 15 minutes after the shot.