Doctors recommend that everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot this year. If contracted, the flu can be serious for kids 5 and under, and especially those under 2. While there are multiple ways to prevent the flu, the Center for Disease Control recommends the flu shot (as opposed to a nasal spray vaccine) this year. The full 2016-2017 vaccination recommendations are available online.
It’s flu season and we hate getting sick, I’ve got 3 tips for helping ease shot anxiety in kids to make your trip to get the flu vaccine a little less painful. This post is sponsored by Children’s Mercy Hospital. I am a part of the Children’s Mercy Mom’s blogger team and I love sharing helpful information for your kids’ health!
Friends. Flu season is here, which is a total bummer. About three weeks ago we had a disgusting stomach bug plow through our house- everyone got it, except for me which was a good thing since I was cleaning up after everyone! ug! I was reminded how horrible it is for a family to be sick and that it’s quite rare that only one person in a family gets sick. Thankfully that stomach bug was only 24 hours and everyone recovered quickly. I was reminded that we definitely want to do everything we can to prevent our household from getting the flu this year, which lasts so much longer than 24 hours.
I’ve been doing some reading about the flu and it sounds like doctor’s are saying that this years vaccine is quite accurate for the strains that Children’s Mercy has been seeing. That means getting the vaccine is going to be necessary and extra helpful. It’s always a good choice to get a flu shot and did you know that it is a myth that you can get the flu from the vaccine? If you come down with symptoms after receiving the vaccine it’s because you were already exposed or picked something up before the vaccine was fully active (which is 2 weeks!). You can read a few other myths about the flu vaccine in THIS fox4kc article.
So let’s get down to it. My kids, like most children in the world, do NOT like getting shots. My daughter especially is scared of getting them. After reading THIS article I changed how we approached the shots and this time, I’m happy to report, it went much better! Here’s what we did:
1. Prepare Them. My gut reaction is to do the opposite of this tip. I kind of feel like the longer I let my daughter think about the shots the more she is going to build it up in her mind of how scary it is. However, if you think about it we all like to know what’s going to be happening to us, it’s much scarier to a kid if they are surprised by what is happening. I honestly saw a difference today because I prepped her several hours before going to the doctor’s office.
2. Offer a Reward. I’m not really sure if any medical practitioners would offer this up as advice but I’m going to. Promise a treat after the shot if there is no crying, obviously there is going to be crying but hopefully this keeps all the drama to a minimum. It definitely worked for my 5 yr. old son, He was about to freak out and then we asked him if he still wanted to go get a treat and he stopped!
2. Distract Them. The most helpful advice that is actually research based! Distraction works people. We don’t let our kids use our phones so it was a super great distraction- they could pick anything to watch or play and sit on dad’s lap while they were given the vaccine. They both cried when the needle went in but honestly it was minimal compared to what I know they are both capable of. It’s the one time I condone them getting completely sucked into a device! 😉
What have you done to help ease the anxiety when your kids get shots? I’d love to hear in the comments or on social use #CMHmoms with your ideas! I love all the resources Children’s Mercy offers! Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter!