How To Help Your Child When They Have A Fear Of Needles

How To Help Your Child When They Have A Fear Of Needles

Let’s be honest; your child probably isn’t the only one to have a fear of needles.

Like many of us, you might be less than happy to roll your sleeves up when you need to have an injection, be it for a blood test, vaccination, or some other reason to endure that dreaded needle. Still, as adults, we understand the importance of an injection; our children on the other hand… well, it probably causes them sleepless nights and a refusal to see the doctor or nurse. However, there are ways to help them, as you can see below.

#1: Listen to your children’s fears

Don’t minimise your children’s fears or ignore what they are saying to you. Let them explain to you why they are afraid, and then give them reassurance. So, if they let you know that it is the pain they are worried about (and to be honest, this is the reason why many of us hate needles), let them know that the pain will only be temporary. You might also find a way to reduce the pain they are going to feel by using a topical anaesthetic (ask your doctor for a recommendation), and you can let your child know about this in advance to help allay their fears. 

#2: Don’t make a fuss about the injection

The less you talk about injections, the better. So, don’t let your child know they have to have an injection days in advance, as you will only give them more time to fret and worry. And don’t over-dramatise injections by letting your own worries of needles drive any conversations with your child, as this might cause them to panic more than they should. Instead, tell your child on the day about the injection, and talk about it in simple terms; how it is for the good of their health, and that it will only hurt for a second or two.

#3: Consider whether you should be in the room with your child or not

On the one hand, you can offer your child comfort by being with them when they have the injection. You can hold their hand, offer words of care, and use distraction techniques, perhaps by pulling funny faces or by telling them a joke. However, if your child is more likely to kick up a fuss about the injection when you’re in the same room as them – they might think a temper tantrum will encourage you to whisk them away to safety – consider leaving the room. Your child might be less likely to go into hysterics with a doctor or nurse, so while it might seem cruel, your not being there could be the best solution. And besides, you can still burst into the room when it’s all over with a happy smile and a hug for your child to let them know everything is okay.

#4: Give your child a reward

Knowing that they are going to be rewarded after the injection might give your child less reason to stress about the prospect unduly. So, you might ask your child what they might like to do after being at the doctor’s surgery, such as a trip to the cinema or an ice cream store, as this might help them take their mind off the injection and give them something to look forward to.

Finally

Going for an injection is never going to be a happy prospect for any of us, and it can be worse for your children. However, our suggestions here might help, so give them a go if your child is less than keen to roll his or her sleeve’s up for the doctor. Let us know your thoughts too, and if you have used any helpful strategies with your child, please share your own tips with us.

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