- Distract and comfort your child by cuddling, singing, or talking softly.
- Smile and make eye contact with your child. Let your child know that everything is ok.
- Comfort your child with a favorite toy or book. A blanket that smells familiar will help your child feel more comfortable.
- Hold your child firmly on your lap, whenever possible.
Once your child has received all of the shots, be especially supportive. Hold and cuddle your child. A soothing voice, combined with praise and hugs will help reassure the child that everything is okay.
Additionally, babies can be soothed through swaddling, skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding. If older than 6 months, babies can also be given a sweet beverage.
- Point out interesting things in the room to help create distractions.
- Tell or read stories.
- Support your child if he or she cries.
- Never scold a child for not “being brave.”
- Take deep breaths with your child to help “blow out” the pain.
Fainting (syncope) can be common among adolescents immediately after getting shots. To help prevent any injuries that could occur from a fall while fainting, your preteen or teen should stay seated for 15 minutes after the shot.
Before you leave the appointment, ask your child’s doctor for advice on using non-aspirin pain reliever and other steps you can take at home to comfort your child.
After the shots
Sometimes children experience mild reactions from shots, such as pain at the injection site, a rash or a fever. These reactions are normal and will soon go away. These tips will help you identify and minimize mild side effects:
- Read the Vaccine Information Sheet(s) your child’s doctor gave you to learn about side effects your child may experience.
- Use a cool, damp cloth to help reduce redness, soreness and/or swelling at in the place where the shot was given.
- Reduce fever with a lukewarm water sponge bath.
- Offer liquids more often. It is normal for some children to eat less during the 24 hours after getting vaccines.
- Ask your child’s doctor if you can give your child a non-aspirin pain reliever.
- Pay extra attention to your child for a few days. If you see something that concerns you, call your child’s doctor.