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It’s like I blinked at the beginning of summer break and flash forward to now: back to school preparation is in full swing. The shopping part of back to school prep is fun, but some parts of it like getting all the required vaccines and immunizations that your kids need are a little harder to get yourself and your kids excited about. I can’t make the experience of taking your kids to get shots something you want to joyously jump up and down about, but I can tell you about the fantastic Walgreens Get a Shot, Give a Shot program that I learned about via #CollectiveBias and give you tips to soothe your child’s fear of shots.
If you haven’t heard about the Walgreens Get a Shot, #GiveaShot program, which is aimed at children 7 and older, it’s fabulous. Not only can you get your child’s required vaccines at Walgreens without having to make an appointment plus they accept most insurances and the pharmacist will report back to your primary care physician, but Walgreens has partnered with the United Nation Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. What this means is that when your child gets their school immunizations for things like whooping cough or meningitis, a life-saving vaccine will be provided to a child in a developing nation. Isn’t that great?
Alrighty, now for five tips to soothe your child’s fear of shots:
1. Stay calm. If you want your child to stay calm, then you have to stay calm. Make sure that on the day of the vaccine or shot, you give yourself enough time to get there so that you don’t feel frazzled and rushed. If you feel yourself getting nervous or agitated, focus on your breath. Take deep, even breaths, and let go of your stress.
2. Tell your child the truth. Let them know that they are going to get a shot. Explain to them what they can expect. Don’t tell them it won’t hurt at all because that’s not true. It does hurt a little and it’s okay to tell them that and that the hurt only last for a tiny bit.
3. Get it over with. Go get the shot as soon as possible. You don’t want your kid worrying about getting a shot all day. If you do it first thing in the morning, then it’s over with and you can move on to more pleasant things.
4. Bring back up. I have two daughters very close in age and when one is getting a shot I always bring the other one for moral support. Somehow having sissy there helps. I also bring a stuffed animal or favorite toy.
5. Have fun immediately afterwards. As soon as the getting a shot experience is over, do something fun. Treats are allowed and so are outings to favorite places.
How do you help your child get over their fear of shots?