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how do you prepare a 3yo for injections?

(34 Posts)
happygelfling Sun 07-Dec-14 19:54:36

My 3yo DD will be called in for immunisations soon. A close friend with a slightly older DD told me that she was thoroughly told off by the nurse giving her daughter's injections because she "had not adequately prepared the child for what was going to happen"... My friend's responses were firstly, if I'd told my child what was going to happen she would have refused to go, and secondly, how can you prepare a child for this?
I know that my DD is usually better behaved when she knows what will happen and what is expected of her, but how can I prepare her without putting her off completely? What approaches have you all taken and what was the result?
Thanks for your help!

TheColdDoesBotherMeAnyway Sun 07-Dec-14 19:56:34

I explained to dd1 that there are nasty illnesses around that could make her very poorly, and that the injections would hurt for a few seconds but that then she wouldn't catch the nasty bugs. She barely noticed in the end!

OmnipotentQueenOfTheUniverse Sun 07-Dec-14 19:59:58

Well not sure if this is generally sanctioned.

I said it's to stop you getting ill. It will be a bit hurty but over really quickly and then straight afterwards YOU WILL GET THIS SWEETIE. And get their little mind focussed on the whole sweetie thing and that seemed to do the trick.

minilegofigure Sun 07-Dec-14 20:00:28

I did exactly what the cold said plus promised a huge tube of smarties for after. Said smarties on desk so could be seen during injection . Straight in hands after. Injections quickly forgotten. Bribery not my useful style so this was a huge treat.

Micah Sun 07-Dec-14 20:00:45

I don't think I did. I'd never have got her in there if she knew what was going to happen.

Think I might have said medicine to stop you getting poorly.

One tip- my practice nurse gets a colleague in (it was 2 injections for Dc at two). They have an injection each, then 1-2-3 do it simultaneously into each thigh. Job done and no need to try getting a second needle into a distressed child smile.

Micah Sun 07-Dec-14 20:01:27

Oh yes we stopped at the sweetie shop on the way smile

minilegofigure Sun 07-Dec-14 20:02:00

That nurse sounds very tense. Was she new? My nurse was totally lovely and put me and three year old at ease.

AwfulBeryl Sun 07-Dec-14 20:02:07

I think there is an episode of get well soon on YouTube that covers it nicely.
I had a chat with them about nasty germs and bugs that made you very poorly, I focused on how lucky we were to live in a country that got rid of nasty bugs. We had seen Buzz Lightyear (not the real one) collecting money for vaccinations in developing countries a few weeks before then, so we had already talked about it a bit as they wanted to know what he was doing.
I did warn them it would hurt a little bit, but that they would get a special treat for being so brave.
I also showed them pictures of the needles on line as they wanted to see them.
They were fine. One didn't even notice and one cried after the second one for a couple of minuets.

Christmasbooks Sun 07-Dec-14 20:02:59

We also bribed with sweets smile. In fact, had special trip to sweet shop to choose said sweets in advance. DS (now 6) still remembers it. (As a good thing).

AwfulBeryl Sun 07-Dec-14 20:03:23

Yes, our treat was a bag of sweets and a toy car.

cathpip Sun 07-Dec-14 20:04:49

I just told all of mine precisely what TheColdDoesBotherMeAnyway said! that and a packet of chocolate buttons did the trick nicely smile

Lioninthesun Sun 07-Dec-14 20:05:23

We played with the toy doctors kit the day before and I explained you xan have injections to stop you getting sick and they feel like a little scratch but stop nasty germs making you sick. I said she would be having two from the nirse the next day and pretended to do them (how brave you are! etc etc) I also went to get a treat from the shop so she could have it afterwards grin She was fine ans got a sticker so was chuffed. The nurse did say they get a lot of kids who have it sprung on them in the room, which makes it pretty traumatic.

NotCitrus Sun 07-Dec-14 20:06:36

What others said - you need this medicine to stop you getting sick, it will go in your arm and hurt a bit, but then there will be smarties. Supplied one smartie to distract first, rest of box immediately after.

By the time we got to the front door of the surgery he wanted another!

addictedtosugar Sun 07-Dec-14 20:07:23

What omni says - but only make the chocolate mention at the last minute.
Chocolate stuffed in mouth before the scream comes out, and before the second stab.

Phoenixfrights Sun 07-Dec-14 20:08:00

Good grief why would you tell a 3 yr old several days/hours in advance that something's going to hurt them?!? Five mins before maybe, dangle sweets as carrot, bam, all done wink

FishWithABicycle Sun 07-Dec-14 20:08:28

Octonauts magazine bought en route to Drs but not in hands till after injection.
Explaining that it's medicine that makes you not get poorly.
It might be a tiny bit hurty but not as hurty as yesterday when you fell and cut your knee, and that's all better now isn't it.

Phoenixfrights Sun 07-Dec-14 20:08:45

Sorr, the "good grief" was aimed at the nurse, not you OP.

SANTABankWadgerHAT Sun 07-Dec-14 20:10:56

DD had hers last week. She's had a slight cough for a couple of weeks, so I told her we were going to see the Nurse in the morning and get some medicine. DD just said that's good.

Okay so I didn't say how the medicine was going to be administered, but as DD didn’t flinch at the jabs that detail was a non issue (she did manage a slight look of disgust but that's it grin).

CMOTDibbler Sun 07-Dec-14 20:12:37

I told ds on the way to the surgery, packet of sweets in front of him waiting till after. Anything more is building it all up into something bigger than it is.

Blowninonabreeze Sun 07-Dec-14 20:13:06

I showed dd2 a video I found on YouTube of a preschooler having her injections.
Alongside lots of chat about how it does hurt a little for a second, but why we have them etc...
Be careful with your choice of video though and pre-watch it until the end. The one I used had a child take the first jab really well but howl after the second! Needless to say, we only showed dd the first jab!

HerrenaHarridan Sun 07-Dec-14 20:18:19

One of the few instances where dds medical issues are an advantage.

Me "dd you need to have some medicine to stop you getting poorly, this medicine has to be given as an injection a bit like a busy hand (cannula)"

Dd "I don't want magic cream, I don't want a busy hand"

Me " it won't be a proper busy hand, it will be your leg and it won't have to be wrapped up, it will be a little sore for a tiny moment but if your ok with that you don't have to have magic cream."

Dd "I don't want magic cream"

Me "that's fine, it will be a bit sore for a moment and then be fine again. Is that ok?"

Dd "no magic cream?"

Me "promise"

I realise that the anaesthetic cream isn't even an option for jabs but shes had needles in many a form and it was always a battle until I accepted that she'd rather it was sore for a moment than spend 30mins with magic cream and a sticky.

Some nurses look at me like I'm mad when I say she doesn't want it but as far as I'm concerned she is making an INFORMED choice about her medical treatment. She may be 3 but she's experienced, informed and vocal.
Why should I override her non consent if it's not medically necessary?

Heels99 Sun 07-Dec-14 20:48:26

I don't tell then till we get in the doctor and then say they need medicine to stop them being poorly.

LittleLionMansMummy Sun 07-Dec-14 20:54:32

Just didn't make a big deal of it. In the morning before his appointment i told him we were going to the doctor. He asked why and i said he was getting an injection - medicine to stop him getting poorly. I said it would sting a bit but be over very quickly and I'd let him have a lollipop if he was very brave. He went no problem (had he refused I'd have dragged him there kicking and screaming), charmed the nurse, no fuss at all, no tears, he got his lollipop. I do think children react better when they know what will happen and why, but matter of fact without a big fuss.

MrsCosmopilite Sun 07-Dec-14 20:58:26

I told my daughter what was going to happen about a week beforehand. I explained that she needed some injections to stop her getting very poorly.
She knew that it would hurt a bit, but not for long.
I dangled the carrot of sweets (we don't have them daily, so they're a bit of a treat) afterwards if she behaved nicely.
As it was, she didn't even whimper, and didn't complain about it hurting.
She got her sweets, and we had lunch out to reinforce the good behaviour.

youbethemummylion Sun 07-Dec-14 20:58:49

I've never prepared my kids for injections other than told them they were going to get an injection to stop them getting ill and afterwards we will go to the sweetshop.

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