Len Rome’s Local Health: Preparing your child for shots

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Come on, it's just a little shot -- try telling that to a little kid

(WYTV) – Come on, it’s just a little shot. How much can that flu shot hurt, really? Tell that to a little kid.

How can you prepare your child for the vaccine if they’re scared of shots?

You can keep them calm with a hug and remain calm yourself. Show no worry, show no fear and if they do get upset during the shot, that’s totally normal. Tell them it’s OK to cry.

“It’s OK to be scared,” said Carmen Howard, LPN at the Cleveland Clinic. “Just not make it a situation where it’s unsafe for both of us — myself, the child and the parent. So I just tell them it’s OK to cry. Parents will tell them, ‘Don’t cry. Be brave.’ Of course, be brave but crying sometimes involves being brave.”

You can keep them distracted, you can let them play a game on your tablet or cell phone, and offering them a reward can help, too.

One more tip — don’t wait until you’re walking into the doctor’s office to tell your child, “Hey, you’re getting a sharp, shiny needle stuck in your arm, won’t that be fun?” Give them a little time to prepare.

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