Making Vaccinations Easier On Your Kids

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 5/17/2012 8:25 am
One of the big reasons kids don't like going to the doctor is the chance they're going to need a shot, but there are some things you can try to make vaccinations a little more  tolerable for your children.

Pediatricians say the length of the needle can impact the pain the child perceives, so make sure your child's doctor is taking that into consideration.

You can also try to have your child "cough it out." A 2010 study showed coughing once before and during vaccinations helped reduce pain among children ages 4 to 5 and 11 to 12.

Another study found babies who were given a sugar solution before immunization cried less during and after getting the shot.

There's also the "5 S" plan. It calls for swaddling, putting the baby on their side or stomach, shushing, swinging and sucking.

You can also ask your pediatrician about skin-numbing products. And if all else fails, find something to distract your child, even if you have  to turn to technology to help you out.

"There's a better than average chance that a parent, or older sibling, or someone in that room has a smart phone or has some piece of technology that has video streaming, music streaming, photo streaming, and sure use what's available to you. And if that helps distract the child during the vaccine, I think it's fine to try it," said Cleveland Clinic pediatrician Dr. Allison Brindle.

Other distractions can include: blowing bubbles, reciting the ABC's, or pointing out a picture on the wall. Dr. Brindle says even the slightest diversion can help.
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