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Tips for Parents

Before Shots...

  • Bring your child's immunization record.
  • Read your vaccine information statements.
  • Ask questions.
  • Bring along a favorite toy or blanket.
  • Reassure your toddler or school-age child honestly, "It might sting, but it will only last a few seconds".
  • Never threaten your child with shots, "If you are not good, I will have the nurse give you a shot".
  • Above all, remain calm and confident. Your child can pick up on your feelings! If you are anxious, they will be too!

During Shots...

  • Touch soothingly and talk softly.
  • Make eye contact as you smile at him.
  • Hold your child securely on your lap.
  • For toddlers or older children, help your child take deep breaths and slowly blow out the pain.
  • Point out objects or posters in the room.
  • Tell your child a story or have him tell you one.
  • Allow your child to cry, don't force him to be brave.

After Shots...

  • Comfort your child by holding, cuddling, caressing, and/or praises.
  • Talk lovingly and soothingly.
  • Reassure him that everything is okay.
  • Ask your health provider for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever when you get home.

At Home...

  • Mark your calendar for your next appointment.
  • Review the vaccine information statements for possible reactions.
  • Observe your child for the next few days.
  • You might see a small rash or notice a fever.
  • A cool wet cloth can reduce redness, soreness, and/or swelling where the shot was given.
  • If your child has any reaction that concerns you, call your doctor or seek medical attention.
  • Give your child plenty of fluids.
  • It is normal if he eats less than usual for the next 24 hours.