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Tips to make getting shots easier on your kids (and you)

I am a provider, but I'm a mom first. I know how hard it is for kids to get shots and for parents to watch. Here are some suggestions to help you, and your child, when it's time to get the flu shot and other vaccines.  

Before the visit

  • For kids who are old enough, try to explain why they are getting vaccines. You can explain how vaccines protect them and their friends from diseases.  
  • Pre-medicate with Children's Tylenol, as directed, to lessen any pain and side effects.
  • Bring a favorite comfort blanket, toy or stuffed animal with you to the visit.

During the visit

  • It can be too hard for some parents to be present for vaccines, and we understand. If you can't watch your child get shots, we can have a nurse come in and help.
  • If your child is still using a bottle or a pacifier, give it to them right after the shot. This, or their favorite comfort item, will help soothe them.
  • Acknowledge that it hurts, and let them know the hurt won't last forever. Remind yourself that even though it's a moment of pain for your child that this momentary pain can prevent a lifetime of hurt.
  • For kids who become very upset after getting shots, it helps to get them out of the clinic quickly. Sometimes, getting out of the clinic environment helps calm them and reinforces that it is over.

 After the visit

  • Your child may be sore for a couple of days or even up to a week. You might want to offer Children's Tylenol after the visit to ease any discomfort.
  • Soreness can cause your child to be irritable. It's easy to forget that shots might be the cause for any fussiness or irritability afterward.
  • Add some extra time with your child: extra cuddle time, extra book time, extra movie time. Spending a little extra time with your child will help them feel comforted. 



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