Although we know that an immunization is for our child’s benefit, they do not always understand that. Depending upon their age, their understanding is limited. Even when they get a bit older the idea of an immunization is not their idea of fun. I have learned a few tricks along the way to help my children deal with these dreaded appointments.
I have found it is best to be honest with my children if they are going to receive and immunization. Yes, it is a bit scary and they dread it but they also have learned Mom will always be honest with them and therefore, they trust me.
Secondly, we make each appointment a day of fun afterwards. We may go out for ice cream or out for dinner and then a trip to the movies. But I am sure to build in a reward for bravery for my children. After all, who doesn’t want a treat after receiving a shot?
I have always encouraged my children to wiggle their fingers while they receive an immunization. It is best to wait until they are school age to give them this tip. If they are younger, they may not be able to grasp the concept of wiggling their fingers and not their whole arm. But wiggling their fingers helps them to take their mind off of the shot and also help the medication to absorb quicker.
A tip our pediatrician has advised is to have our children blow out like they are blowing birthday candles. This relaxes them and helps them to not be so tense while they get the immunization.
I also give my children a dose of Tylenol after they have had their temperature taken so that they have the advantage of a pain reliever kicking in.
For more helpful tips, you may want to read this article on the subject by Parenting.