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Fear of vaccines(16 Posts)
Hi. My DDs are receiving their vaccinations soon, they are young teenagers. They have had none so will receive mmr tetanus polio etc. It will be two jabs now and two more later.
The problem is that one of them is terrified. I wondered if anyone had any tips to help her with this?
I also wondered what side effects should be expected with older kids?
No judgement please. They are having them done. Just looking for any helpful advice
Have they been having the flu vaccine?
Are they afraid of the jabs themselves? The actual needles? Have they had their ears pierced before? Because it's NOTHING compared to that.
If you can, try to explain that being tensed up and fantasising about pain WILL make it worse. A good nurse can do it with barely any feeling at all - she should keep them chatting and entertained while she does it and then suddenly it's all over and a huge anticlimax!
Maybe they could watch a much loved music video on your phone while it's being done? I would say that distraction is key.
What do they do as a hobby?
I think the key is to make sure everyone is calm, particularly whoever is bringing them to the appointment. Speak positively about the benefits and focus on this.
Plan a nice treat for after, pizza or some kind of meal.
Make sure they've eaten/drunk beforehand, makes fainting less likely.
Treat it as a fast slightly uncomfortable process. There are lots of things we have to endure for our health that aren't 100% comfortable e.g. smears so it's good to accept it early in life.
I agree that distraction is key with injections, I absolutely hate them, but I find that something to hold in the opposite hand, and something to read or watch so I can look elsewhere is helpful.
It's also good to remember that they are over in a matter of seconds. You could even count to pass the time, I bet you can't even get to 10 in the amount of time it takes for one jab.
It's also worth mentioning the anxiety about them to the person doing the injections, so they can have everything ready to go as soon as you sit down for them. Then there's no waiting around building up tension and fear. In and out - over and done.
Thank you. I have numbing cream but don't know where to put it! All over the upper arms? Also, should I bother giving calpol beforehand? Thanks for the advice
The scared one had her ears pierced so I'm glad to tell her it's much less painful than that!
They have never had flu vaccines so are completely new to it.
Side effects are much the same at any age, and most people have none at all. Soreness/transitory swelling at the site of the jab is fairly common, as is a general feeling of being a bit off/tired. It's quite rare to have anything beyond that.
The numbing cream is called Emla, and is sold in chemists, but you need to ask for it at the pharmacy counter (it's not put out on the shelves)
Find out what the fear is. It may not be pain. My DD thinks somehow the needle is going to go into get bones. She knows it's not the case, but these things aren't rational. Make sure the nurse knows and if you DD wants to have it done alone with you do that. She may be better if the nurse doesn't talk about it too much & just gets on with it.
Well done for getting them vaccinated.
I'm a school vaccination nurse. We are usually alerted to the really nervous ones, we take extra time with them.
Does your DD listen to music on her phone or watch videos? It can be useful to have a distraction once they are ready for the injection.
calpol - with the greatest of respect as young teens they should be taking adult doses, are you babying them in other ways? I know it’s hard but it’s not doing them any favours.
WRT vaccines it’s the adult thing to do so you should be supporting them to do this.
Is it the injection pain she's worried about, or the vaccines themselves? Obviously having not been vaccinated before (and I'm absolutely not judging, as it's great that they're having them now) she's presumably been aware of the vaccine scares, more so than most teens?
Might be worth unpicking with her what she's actually afraid of, if you haven't already.
It might simply be that she hasn't grown up with the sensation of a needle occasionally being stuck in your arm, though!
Bertha. The older one has not needed pain relief in so long, at leat 4 years in fact so hadn't thought about adult pain relief to be honest, I'm not babying them.
The fear is just a general fear of the insides of the body, she won't look at veins on her wrist and can't talk about organs or blood, I am dreading periods starting!
The older one will not bat an eyelid I'm sure so don't think it's my bad parenting that has led the younger one to be so scared of this stuff.
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