3yo needs jabs but has needle phobia

(15 Posts)
minipie Tue 16-Feb-16 12:17:39

DD is 3.3, she needs to have her pre school boosters and she also needs the second dose of the MMR, in the next couple of months.

She used to be really good about having injections (had the chickenpox vaccine last autumn no problem) but recently she has started outright refusing, tears, saying she's scared, thrashing and wriggling etc. Tried to have the MMR recently and had to leave as she simply would not cooperate.

Any ideas? I can hold her down I guess but I'm not sure if I can hold her still enough for a jab to be safe - she's pretty big now...

ScarlettDarling Tue 16-Feb-16 12:21:28

I took my dd for her nursery age jabs wearing her doctor's coat and carrying her doctors bag. We'd role played injecting teddy and dolly, emphasising every time, "gosh, that hardly hurts at all, just a little scratch!"

Also, bribery of being taken out straight afterwards to a 'big girl' cafe for 'big girl' hot chocolate and whatever cake took her fancy -if she acted like a big girl!- worked a treat!

Good luck!

minipie Tue 16-Feb-16 14:49:59

thanks Scarlett - she does love her doctors kit so that's definitely worth a try!

Bribery of chocolate ice cream (usually a failsafe) hasn't worked...

minipie Tue 16-Feb-16 14:50:44

... but more emphasis on the big girl link might work I suppose - will try that too.

1fedupmama Tue 16-Feb-16 14:54:25

My son was a bit like this for his pre school jags we managed to settle him by saying he was being such a big brave boy & the jags would help him grow up big & strong, & that I know he hates being ill & these jags would help gmfight off all the bugs, stickers & bribery also played a part & he sat great, altho I did get shot some mega evil looks afterwards. But the cafe & 'huge' chocolate milkshake made up for that!

SmallGreenBouncyBall Tue 16-Feb-16 14:55:46

we explained exactly what will happen and had a small gift ready for afterwards.
if you want to you can buy numbing cream (emla) at the chemist.

YouSaffBridge Tue 16-Feb-16 15:00:08

I'd go for explaining the jabs, gradually. So tell her what they are for and why she needs them, and maybe that no one likes having them done, it's fine not to like it. And then with the bribery etc afterwards.

DD had to have blood tests and we knew it would be bad so I made a joke about DP being terrible at bloodtests, and we made it into a bit of competition about whether she could be braver than Daddy was.

Whatever gets you through. Though maybe I'm horrible, but if push came to shove, for something like a vaccination then if she had to be clamped to my chest while I was kicked and bitten, she'd be clamped there.

Lovingtheseagulls Tue 16-Feb-16 15:07:40

I told mine if they didn't sit still the nurse would have to do the injection on their bottoms - they sat pretty still 😆

flamingtoaster Tue 16-Feb-16 15:07:57

DD was in hospital three times before the age of 4 - on a drip for five days each time. Each time she went in she was so ill they had trouble finding her veins so she ended up very needle phobic - she used to put her head under a cushion immediately if a needle appeared on the TV. When she needed booster injections I told her what was going to happen and explained they were important - that she would sit on my knee looking away from the nurse and that when it was done she could have some of her favourite chocolate. She loved the tiny bars of chocolate and only ever had had one at a time. I promised her she could have four and when we went into the room I lined up the four little bars on the table where she could see them. She was very tense and worried but I held her tightly and the nurse and I kept talking about the chocolate and how much she was getting and we managed to get them done without any trauma. I think having the treat in the room is a vital element in this!

Good luck!

TheGreatSnafu Tue 16-Feb-16 15:11:06

Bribery, education, big distraction, praise - even when she doesn't cope and big treat afterwards even if she doesn't cope. Just make it as positive as possible to start building a positive emotional memory of "needles" so as to mitigate her fear in the future.

Hopefully staff will be supportive and nice but don't let them minimise her fear or tell her she's silly or whatever, sometimes you get the odd person who is a plonker. She has her feelings and they are valid and hopefully with positive experiences she will learn that it's over quickly and not too unbearable.

If she's scared of the actual needle you can do the lap hold with her looking to one side with a distractor and the injection given on the other side, if it's the pain, the "magic cream" (emla) can help, if it's the whole process then bookending it with positive experiences before and after will help build positive emotional memories.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 16-Feb-16 15:15:44

Calpol BEFORE going -
Lollipop in her mouth

Ask the nurse to get in ready so no hanging around

Ask to use a real stethoscope to distract her

FinallyHere Tue 16-Feb-16 15:19:26

My mother told me to 'turn my toes in' so I wouldn't feel the injection. Dentist asked me whether I had had any children and explained about breathing 'you can't feel pain when breathing out'.

Between these two, I tend to get distracted enough. Hope you find what works. xx

minipie Tue 16-Feb-16 22:58:22

Well she had to have some blood taken for tests this morning.

Had numbing cream before, bribery, explanations about why & nobody likes them but they are important, emphasis on how she was being a big and brave girl, distraction with pictures in the room, etc. Was ok right up to the crucial moment and then had a massive wobbly. Had to be held clamped by me and a nurse while it was done sad.

Afterwards she said it didn't actually hurt! (maybe due to numbing cream?) So I am reminding her of that at regular intervals (and praising her for having done it) in the hope that will help next time...

She is very tired at the moment (part of the reason for the blood tests) so wonder if that is why she's so wobbly about the whole thing. She has always been so fearless until recently.

minipie Tue 16-Feb-16 22:59:01

PS and thanks of course for all the advice! Hopefully next time will be better.

ScarlettDarling Thu 18-Feb-16 09:14:59

Hope all her bloods come back ok, poor little lamb flowers

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