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How do you approach the subject of your pre-school child going for their pre-school jabs?

(16 Posts)
DumbledoresGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 14:07:24

What I mean is, do you tell them in advance? What do you say if you do? Is there any way of putting it to them that will not make it sound like something to fear?

I should know how to handle this as 3 of my children have been through this, but I have just had the card through to say that my youngest is to have his pre-school booster next month and I feel all the mixture of emotions that parents feel when they know something painful/unpleasant but necessary is going to happen to their child.

Actually, when he had his MMR, he was fine. He smiled at the nurses throughout and did not react one jot to the needle going in, let alone cry. But one of my older children screamed enough to bring the building down and was very angry with me for hours afterwards.

So what do I say to ds3? Do I tell him or do I just take him along and let him find out what it is all about when the needle goes in?

BettySpaghetti Thu 22-Feb-07 14:11:19

With DD I certainly didn't lie by telling her it wouldn't hurt but, on the other hand, I didn't go into huge detail.

I think I probably said things like "Its to stop you getting horrible illnesses" "The doctor puts the medicine in your arm/leg with a special thing" etc

I also told her that afterwards she could choose a book/magazine and we chatted about which one she thought she might buy -distraction works a treat!

DumbledoresGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 14:21:10

And was she OK about it?

mankyscotslass Thu 22-Feb-07 14:21:47

I waited til the morning of the day he was getting them done, then on the way there just said that he would get a needle in his arm, that it might hurt a little bit, but was to stop him getting nasty bugs. And took chocolate and went and bought a book when done!
DD will be due her preschool jabs soon, and i am dreading it too.....

DumbledoresGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 14:30:04

It is silly isn't it? I dread every single one of the jabs my children have had to have simply because I don't like the thought of causing them pain, but after 4 children, you would think I would be used to it by now!

Maybe this particular situation is not helped by the fact that ds3 also has to have an operation next month so I know he has 2 unpleasant experiences awaiting him right now.

harpsichordcarrier Thu 22-Feb-07 14:33:18

I said to dd1 - I am going to take you to the doctor and she is going to give you an injection of medicine in your arms. It will hurt but not for long and you can sit on my knee and I will cuddle you. When it's over we can go the toy shop and you can choose a cuddly toy
I mentioned it several times i.e. after Christmas I am going to take you..... next week... tomorrow..... this afternoon.... to give her plenty of time top get used to the idea. I also said Alex and Tom and Oliver are going too etc etc.
she was fine about it. she is apretty senstive child too

DumbledoresGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 14:48:11

Ok, I will try the honest approach. Re the length of time before you tell a child about an upcoming event, I received some useful information from the hospital where ds3 is going to have his operation. It said that you should tell a child about the event the same number of days before it as they are in years, eg tell a 3 year old 3 days before. I found that information helpful.

puppydavies Thu 22-Feb-07 15:26:52

i told dd the day before, in as casual a way as possible. i didn't want to build it up into being a big thing when, in reality, it isn't. we did toy shop on the way home, and it turned out the nurse had treats for her too. we took a story book from the waiting room in with us and kept rerading while she had the injection, the fact it was a new book kept her pretty much enthralled.

it turned out she barely flinched at the jab, but got really freaked out by the plasters they put on afterwards, since she'd never had one before. she was worried they were going to hurt when they came off (so was i, they were those industrial-strength nhs ones) or that there was a huge hole underneath. it took us days to persuade her to let us take them off and she freaked out about getting dressed and undressed all that time.

just goes to show no matter how well prepared you think you are it never quite works ;)

exbury Thu 22-Feb-07 20:27:55

Depends on the child - some I know get more wound up the more notice you give them. DS hates surprises (even nice ones), so I warned him a few days in advance and gave him plenty of time to ask 1001 "why" questions - he stretched my understanding of how vaccines work!

In the event, he was fine - and most impressed by the fact that because it was 2 injections, he got 2 stickers and 2 sweets from the nurse. No further bribe required from me - he went straight to nursery to show off his stickers and tell all his mates how brave he had been.

Good Luck!

burek Thu 22-Feb-07 20:42:30

My DH used bribery - a present for being good and letting 'the nice nurse put medicine in your arm to keep you healthy in school'. It worked!

Notquitesotiredmum Thu 22-Feb-07 20:44:19

oooh, what age did you have to have them done? My ds2 has just been 'invited' for his but he's only 3.5, so I'm not rushing in.

uptomyeyes Thu 22-Feb-07 20:57:01

I tell them that we are going to the clinic a few days beforehand for vaccinations ( I never say injections as DS1 had to have daily injections for two years and freaks at the thought now) I then secretly buy a present and wrap it up to take with us - something small like a playmobil figure or small lego. At the precise moment that they realise what is happening as HV comes at them with needle, I produce present, they are taken off guard, HV injects they say aahhh and then rip wrapping paper off present. Sorted. Current HV is v PC and explains everything to child in detail whilst I rattle present in distracting way in the background. Maybe my children are too materialistic but it works

DumbledoresGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 20:59:53

Ds3 was 4 on Monday NQSTM. The appt came the next day. I had heard this was the case round here - just after the fourth birthday. It is a specific appt though so no chance of ignoring it and going later. Anyway, later would still present me with this problem.

Hulababy Thu 22-Feb-07 21:02:54

I told DD in advance. Explained that she had to have a couple of injections - they'd be little jabs one in each arm and that although it might sting a bit, it wouuld be over really quickly.

She then took her own plasters - Dora ones we had picked up in Florida And we took chocolate - a piece after each jab In the end we had no tears or anything; phew!

KTeePee Fri 23-Feb-07 14:20:22

I was dreading this with ds1 - who is not known for his easy-going nature! He was already at school when his appointment came through so I had to take him out of school do get it done. I carefully arranged for dh to be at home to look after ds2, drove to the surgery (although it is within walking distance) in case I would need to carry him in kicking & screaming, was armed with chocolate, etc.....

He did make a bit of a fuss about having to come out of school but was fine about the actual injection. The nurse got me to hold him tummy to tummy with my arms around him so he couldn't wriggle too much.

scotlou Fri 23-Feb-07 14:29:18

dd had hers yesterday - and after me worrying (since she's the kind of child who screams at any opportunity) - she didn't feel a thing and didn't seem to notice! I didn't tell her until yesterday morning - said I woudl collect her early from nursery and take her to the doctor to get her jabs. She didn't like the idea - but went in happily and it was all fine!

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