If your child is afraid of needles, this article is for you! Many kids have been brought up with the idea that needles are painful and scary, but there are many ways to handle fears and make them more manageable. This article will show you how to help your child survive the needle experience, gain confidence, and be relaxed.
First, what can you do as a parent?
Try to be supportive.
Your child is probably scared because you are, so try your best to appear confident and relaxed. This will help make your child feel better about the procedure. Focus on why the doctor ordered this test or treatment, and ensure your child understands it will not hurt as much as you think. Remind him that needles are just a small part of his visit, intended to improve him. Keep your voice and body language calm, and tell your child what to expect. If it’s not a doctor you trust, you can reassure your child by telling him that the doctor is not scary and will never hurt him.
Avoid fear-provoking situations
Do not ever give a shot in public, if possible. Even adults dislike being seen in public when receiving an injection. It is even more frightening for children when they are observed while receiving a shot or drawing blood.
Avoid comparing your child with others.
Children are very sensitive to this. This can be traumatic for your child if he sees his friends getting shots and he is not. It may be better to avoid asking about it or showing it in any way. If you do, suggest how he can conquer his fears, like in this article.
Second, what can you do for your child?
Make sure he is relaxed and prepared for the visit.
First, it’s best to explain why this test is necessary and be sure he understands. If possible, make an appointment with the doctor a day before or after a fun activity (like a birthday party), so your child has something to look forward to. At the clinic, please help your child to relax by speaking in a soothing voice and allowing him time to get used to the surroundings. If your child is small, you can ask the nurse to give him a toy or treat to look at while he waits.
Let him know you are with him.
Tell your child that the needle is nothing to worry about and will not hurt. Explain to him exactly what will happen and try to anticipate his questions. Some kids may need to see a demonstration before the real thing. Showing them pictures and videos may help them understand better than just telling them.
Don’t force your child to get a shot.
You must understand that forcing your child to do this against his will only worsens the situation. If your child is very small and afraid of needles, let him know that as soon as he grows up just a little, he’ll be able to handle it just like other kids. Please work with your doctor to help your child overcome his fear of needles.
Third, make it fun
Let your child bring his favorite toy or comic book to the clinic. Please find out the name of his favorite character and use it when talking about the needle. Let him know that the doctor is like a superhero who will save him from pain. If your child likes stickers, you can get some that look like bandages and other medical supplies to give him as a reward after he gets his blood drawn.