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Preparing Your Child For Vaccinations

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Any parent with a young child knows that vaccinations, or shots as they're often called, can be tough to go through. Your child may be terrified of the situation and it is stressful to see your child become so upset. That's why you need to make a solid plan so you can prepare them for the event and get them through it as easily as you can. Some of the ideas here can help.

Explain the Situation

Rather than simply letting them know that you're off to the doctor for a shot and asking them to be brave, it is often a good idea to have a short talk about why your child needs a vaccination and how important the shot can be to their health. Talk to them about how sick they could be without the vaccination, and be ready for any questions they might have about the diseases they're being vaccinated against. How in-depth your explanation is or how complicated their questions are will depend on their age, so be prepared to explain these issues in a way they'll understand.

It's also essential that you don't attempt to mislead them about pain they might feel from the needle. You might characterize it as a pinch, but to your small child it can feel significantly worse than that. Let them know that they may feel some pain but that it will be over quickly.

See a Pediatrician

One of the easiest ways to help your child during a vaccination visit is to ensure that you're scheduling their appointment with a pediatrician rather than a general practitioner. Pediatricians only deal with children and will have encountered all kinds of personalities and behaviors that could arise as part of the vaccination process. They may have tricks for calming your child down that other doctors may not use and can interact with your child in a way that comes from years of experience with little ones. Not only that, but they're likely to have a wide selection of post-shot stickers that can cheer up almost any child.

Do Something Fun Afterwards

To ensure that your child doesn't dwell on needles and vaccinations on the day of their appointment, make a plan to head to one of their favorite places once the appointment is over. You might even want to take them somewhere they've never gone before so that the anticipation of that event will dwarf any concerns about a vaccination that will only take a few moments.

Contact the staff at a clinic like Kitsap Children's Clinic LLP for more help dealing with vaccinations.