Prepare Your Child for Immunizations

  • Talk about doctor visits in a positive way.
  • Read fun books to your child about doctor visits prior to your appointment.
  • If your child asks if the shot or procedure will hurt, don't fib about it; get down at your child's eye-level and explain that the shot may hurt a little for a few seconds.
  • Allow your child some control regarding the appointment. Let them choose which toy they want to bring with them, and how they want to sit for the shot.
  • Tell your child to blow out the pain like a candle or have the child squeeze your hand as hard as the pain is of the shot. 
  • Plan a special reward for after the shots (i.e. going to get ice cream, going to the park, visiting a grandparent/relative, etc.)
  • Allow the child to calm down before leaving the doctor's office so that they can leave on a positive note and not associate the doctor's office with negative things or pain.
  • Children sense parents' anxiety. Make sure you're able to stay calm during the procedures.
  • Distraction is helpful during the shot or procedure, such as:
             - Playing "I spy" and helping your child find items in the room
             - Blowing bubbles during the shot (this also helps the child to regulate breathing and remain calm)