a more positive experience for your child,” Pourdavoud says.
Be sure it’s a two-way conversation, Feuer adds. Ask them about their fears and concerns related to getting a shot, and correct any misinformation they might have.
“With kids that are younger or particularly scared, practicing at home with a doll or reading books about it can also be helpful in alleviating fears,” Feuer shares.
On the day of their appointment, make plans to help your child feel as in control of the experience as they can.
“We all feel better and less anxious when we feel in control,” Feuer says. “Whatever choices can be given to your child, let them choose. The shirt they wear, the arm they get the shot in, who they go to the appointment with, what toy to bring for comfort or distraction — find and offer choices whenever you can, so kids can feel that the situation is in their control.”
In fact, asking your child to choose a favorite stuffed animal, toy or game to bring along can help them remain calm during the vaccination, Pourdavoud shares.
“She can hug teddy tightly or hold both his hand and yours when she is getting her poke,” Pourdavoud says. “For older children, their comfort item might be a phone or tablet to watch a video or listen to music on before and during their immunization — even pediatricians approve of screen time for distracting during vaccines and procedures.”
Make your pediatrician your partner
Feuer and Pourdavoud both recommend reaching out to your pediatrician ahead of time, to come up with the best plan to