Kids’ Shots Don’t Have to Hurt … THAT Much

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Simple strategies make getting shots easier for kids.

With flu season here and the flu mist no longer an option this year, plenty of kids are getting flu shost. You don’t need to dread it! There are easy ways to help your child manage the shot routine, and it all starts with YOU!

What YOU Can Do to Help Your Child

• Provide Distraction:
Don’t talk about the shot too much beforehand or warn your child with worry on your face. Instead, just talk about it casually. Be casual in the doctor’s office, too. And be ready to stay that way by whipping out a cute little toy, a funny joke, or even blowing bubbles.

• Cough, Cough:
There’s truth in the idea that if a kid coughs just as the injection is being given he won’t notice the sting as much. Teach him to cough “when I say.”

• Sweet Stuff:
A study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood showed that babies 1 to 12 months old who were given a small amount of sugar before immunization fared better during their shot. Who doesn’t want something sweet to focus on instead of something scary?

• Numb the Skin:
EMLA cream, a topical anesthetic, may reduce shot pain for children, at least on the surface of the skin when the needle tip goes in. Go ahead and request it from your doctor’s office before your visit so you can apply it beforehand. Most pharmacies carry it.


Traditional flu vaccines are made to protect against three different flu viruses (called “trivalent”). In addition, flu vaccines are made to protect against four different viruses (called “quadrivalent”) and they are also available.

Discover where to get the flu shot you need for you and your family at FluShotprices.


Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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