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How do you vaccinate a 3.9 yr old without a hysterical meltdown?

(12 Posts)
Millionprammiles Tue 16-Feb-16 10:42:04

Dd needs to have her pre-school jabs. She's wary of doctors (I don't know why, she's never been seriously ill and neither have we).

I've tried explaining what will happen (there's no way I could have just taken her there by stealth). I've played it down, told her all her friends had it and it didn't hurt (that's true, they even told her that themselves), said we'll go for a treat afterwards etc.

Dd is flat out refusing to go and gets hysterical if I try to talk to her about it. The appointment is coming up and I'm starting to panic about how to get her through this. I'm not even sure how I'd physically get her there and force her (and I really don't want it to be like that).
Any tips?

plurabelle Tue 16-Feb-16 10:59:06

Consult the receptionist at the doctor and/or the GP her/himself? Change the date of the appointment and take her there without any further prior discussion with your daughter. Ideally she could be taken through without having to wait.

It maybe that your daughter will be calmer/more grownup with strangers.

Then a treat/reward afterwards for being brave.

lljkk Tue 16-Feb-16 11:00:01

sweets, b4, during, after

Artandco Tue 16-Feb-16 11:01:13

I have always told mine the reason why. Who talk and show pictures of measles, meningitis etc so they can see that the vaccine is the better option. Plus sweets after

NotCitrus Tue 16-Feb-16 11:05:10

Tell her you aren't seeing a doc, you're seeing a nurse? And you go in, they fill in forms, have a smartie, the jab hurts a bit, here's your tube of smarties to finish.

It sounds like you are getting anxious too which she is probably feeding off - could someone else take her? Or can you act as bored as possible, bring a story to read to her to distract during the waiting time, etc?

The more you try to persuade her it's ok, the more she'll think it's a big deal.

Much sympathy - my 7yo is fine with jabs but freaked about a nasal spray. After holding him down I asked why children couldn't have a flu jab instead. Turns out they can, just 99% of them are fine with spray and hate jabs... so next year it's flu jab instead. With immediate chocolate in hand.

VagueIdeas Tue 16-Feb-16 11:08:30

I was dreading DD's preschool vaccinations for similar reasons. In the end I got DH to come with us (we had a newborn so I needed the back up) and he held her tightly on his lap. She cried but didn't struggle. Came home to a magazine and lots of fuss and TLC (she's a drama queen and was still sniffling!).

You sort of have to grin and bear it. No more discussion or cajoling: this is happening and it'll be over really quickly.

bringmelaughter Tue 16-Feb-16 11:09:00

Agree with choc before, during and after. Take her to shop, let her choose whatever she wants. Let her crack it open and start chomping before, leave rest of choc where she can see it/holding it, injections done, more choc. Sugar is actually a painkiller in babies/small children so it isn't just bribery and distraction.

Millionprammiles Tue 16-Feb-16 11:21:03

Thanks all - I think chocolate is the answer!

This all started because we had a letter from the surgery about flu jabs, dd saw her name on it, was uber excited it was a letter for her and made me tell her what it was about. Foolishly I told her the truth (and in fact I assumed it was an injection so got it wrong!).

Dd is fairly hardy (she plays rugby!) but she is very scared of blood/bleeding and I think that's the issue.

FFTransform Wed 17-Feb-16 07:55:59

All my dds vacs where ok as she had them far enough apart and young so she didn't realise but then I got her the 2 part chicken pox vaccine when she was 3.5 . . .

For the second part lots of distraction on the way, role play with the doctors set before, an elsa doll for afterwards with lots of hints, but ultimately being held down in hysterics by brute force :-(

But having been really sick with chicken pox myself I had decided a rubbish morning was worth it - and she got to play at being the doctor and make me cry afterwards grin

minipie Wed 17-Feb-16 14:59:56

We have the same problem - I have a thread in parenting at the moment called "3yo needs jabs but has needle phobia" which has some suggestions. I have to say none quite worked for me and I ended up holding DD down (with help from my dad). However she did admit afterwards that it didn't hurt so am hoping next time goes better (she still needs more jabs).

You can get numbing cream from the pharmacy which you apply 1hr before - that way you can tell her truthfully it won't hurt and hopefully means the next time she will remember it was actually ok...

fluffypacman Wed 17-Feb-16 22:31:30

I guess it depends on the child. We watched CBeebies with the doctor programme and nurse on it and role played with our doctor and nurses kit having an injection. I then emphasised the chocolate (I had a whole packet of chocolate buttons), she was as happy as Larry with the one button given by the nurse and skipped out of the room. Chocolate is the way forwards! Good luck. I felt it could have gone either way with us. X

Millionprammiles Thu 18-Feb-16 09:47:26

It really depends on the child. Dd is terrified of certain things (eg spiders), proper, trembling, terror.
Yet put her in a packed, noisy room full of unfamiliar kids/adults and she'll happily run off on her own and talk to anyone whereas other kids might cling to their parents.

There's definitely something about doctors she doesn't like and it may in part be because she associates them with death (her grandpa died 2 yrs ago and she knows he's not here anymore because 'he was broken and the doctors couldn't fix him'.)
She still talks about it now (I overheard her telling her friend grandpa lives in the sky and can touch the moon sad so it does seem to be on her mind.
We've hardly ever taken her to the doctor so she doesn't have much experience of it.

Am hoping it will all go swimmingly as I think she only needs one positive trip to allay her fears. Will remember to take the choc buttons and ipad!

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