9 Genuine Ways To Help Children With Vaccination Pain

Vaccination or immunization of children is the second most important thing, after nutrition, in the long list of responsibilities to be fulfilled as parents. However, it makes some parents anxious about handling their little ones and their pain.

There are very few medicinal options to reduce the pain because painkillers are generally not advised for children until absolutely necessary. Most of the options are psychological, which divert their minds towards the things that make them happy instead of their pain.

Why Vaccine Pain Management is Necessary for Kids

Managing pain during vaccination in kids is not about on-spot management, it also impacts their cognitive behaviour for future vaccinations and acceptance of medical interference in older life. No pain-relief strategy can cut down the pain to zero, so you might need to combine the following strategies to minimize the overall impact on the child. 

Read forward to see what might help your child to minimize the pain from the whole immunization procedure.

1. Everyone Must Remain Calm - The parents should remain calm to keep their kids calm. Too much commotion and anxious actions might set off the children's composure and make them cranky. It would lead to a noisy situation during the whole trip to the paediatrician. If you are calm, the kids are likely to be 50% less distressed and anxious throughout the visit to the clinic.

2. Prepare Beforehand - If your kids are big enough to understand inoculation, prepare them for the same. Make them understand how it prevents them from getting sick, and as they are grown up and stronger, it won't hurt. Informing at the last minute might make them too anxious and scared for future vaccinations. The kids will feel confident about the upcoming process and react positively or less crossly if they know beforehand. This strategy works for kids of all age groups.

3. Sweettooth - Offering sweet treats before, during, or after vaccination has a psychological impact on children by diverting their attention to the sweet tooth instead of pain. Especially in children under the age of one, sugar water or sweetened pacifiers to suck during vaccination is effective to let things go smoothly. Candies, chocolates or icecreams do not reduce pain but lessen the concentration towards the prick. The enjoyment and happiness from the treat prevail over everything!

4. Icepack/Massages - Applying an icepack and softly rubbing at the injection site helps relieve pain from the jab. Light massaging around the area helps to soothe the pain and comfort the child by increasing blood flow and reducing the throbbing sensation at the injection site. Massaging renders a sense of safety and assurance in the kids, making them less fussy and overreactive towards the vaccination pain.

5. Pain Relief Medicines - If the child is completely unable to bear the pain, fussy and unmanageable, ask your paediatrician for soothing topical pain relief gel or medicines. If the child is fine after the vaccine, keep these OTC (over the counter) medicines handy at home as the pain sometimes increases after few hours. Also, some vaccines cause fever (it is a sign that the vaccine is working), so always keep the relevant medicines in your first-aid box.

6. Breastfeeding - Breastfeeding sounds like a solution to so many issues! The infants can feel one emotion at a time, so breastfeeding immediately after vaccination can calm them and divert their attention from pain to food! Breastfeeding at the time of vaccine is not suggested as the sudden pain might cause the infant to throw up. However, once the jab is given, soothe the baby, hold them close and pacify by breastfeeding to divert their minds.

7. Favourite Distractions - Toys, books, balloons, and the not so silent villain mobile phones can be offered to kids for distracting them during vaccination and afterwards. Comforter or their usual sleeping blankets also help to reduce their anxiety and cause distraction from the process and pain. Holding their attention is a great way to make them ignore the injection and the pinching pain that come with it.

8. Combination Doze - You can talk to your paediatrician if multiple vaccines can be combined and given together as a single dose. Yes, this is possible in some combinations. This will reduce the number of times your child is pricked. Each vaccine has an age window, and sometimes two or more vaccines can be given in a single dose. You can also consult if your vaccine is delayed and nearing another vaccine due date can all be administered on the same day. This will not reduce the number of pricks but definitely save your child and you from the whole sequence and preparations and pain management process.

9. Painless Injections - The newfound option for pain management is painless vaccines. These are not actually painless, the shot will pain as usual, but the after-pain associated with the vaccine on the area of the jab is reduced to the minimum. These are, however, not available easily everywhere and are costlier than usual vaccines. The painless vaccines have the same efficacy as regular vaccines and can be opted for at the parent's discretion. 

Seeing your little one crying always breaks your heart, but we request all parents to remember how shots don't pain so much as compared to the benefits derived from them. Therefore, adopt and discover methods that calms and soothes your child but get them vaccinated on time. 

For any questions about the vaccination of children, leave your comments below or contact your paediatrician.

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