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Any tips for dealing with needle-avoiding 6yo?

(20 Posts)
toomuchtooold Thu 07-Jun-18 17:42:58

I just tried to take DD2 for a vaccination but she was too scared and they couldn't do it. I wondered if anyone had any tips on how to help her get over the fear?

geekymommy Fri 08-Jun-18 14:47:05

I am needle phobic. I make sure to look away from wherever they're doing the shot. I tell them beforehand that I'm likely to shake and cry, they should keep going if I do those things. I usually plan to get a treat of some sort after anything with needles involved.

Lindy2 Fri 08-Jun-18 14:53:19

Perhaps role playing an injection beforehand so she knows a bit more what to expect.
I think at 6 years old though I'd hold her firmly on my lap so that it can be done quickly. If it's an important vaccination it really isn't up to a 6 year old as to whether it is done or not.

Charolais Fri 08-Jun-18 14:56:25

Explain to her the needle is so thin/small sometimes you can’t even feel it. This is true. And to relax her arm and look away.

olderthanyouthink Fri 08-Jun-18 15:23:37

I'm seriously needlephobic (thinking about it makes me cry), no amount of treats is going to make it better for me.

I was recently pinned down (with my consent) to have a blood test. There was screaming and crying and a scene being made.

I don't want to see any of it, not someone else having theirs, not the needle/ tourniquet/ vials etc , none of it.

Not particularly nice but just had to be done.

toomuchtooold Sat 09-Jun-18 07:31:33

The problem is, the practice nurse refuses to do the injection unless DD can sit still for it - she won't let me hold her down. I'm relieved to hear some of you mention having to be held down because I felt guilty for wanting to do that... we live in Germany and they can be quite insistent about children's rights to bodily autonomy, which usually I would agree with, but DD was really ashamed when she came out of the surgery without getting it done (her sister having managed it) and she's already had two ticks this year - it's definitely in her interests to get the bloody thing done, being held down is not nice but nor is tick borne encephalitis :-(

I have done all your suggestions (she was like this last year too) - we have another appointment in a couple of weeks so I'll try then and then ask the GP if there's any other way to do it. She had to be sedated for a local anaesthetic injection at the hospital last year, that was a debacle, three doses of sedative and she was still trying to get off the bed and away from the needle.

The thing is, arithst she had to return to the GP to get the stitch out and a very skilled nurse managed to help me calm her enough to let her do it, and then she was fine, and surprised at how little it had hurt. I feel as if, if we could just get this one injection done, the rest would be fine, and I know this sounds cruel but I feel like by not forcing her to have the injection, we're pandering to the notion that there is something really scary about injections. God, I wish I could take her back to when we were doing IVF to have her. I injected myself every day. When they were born, I had to have heparin which I was given to take home and the midwife came to teach me to do the injection and I was like "give it here" and stuck it in my thigh while we were still talking... actually, that might be something - my GP has been on at me to get my own imms updated, I've definitely not had the tick borne encephalitis one, I could take her with me to see it done. Sadly here in Germany the kids GP and adult GPs are separate so we can't get it done together. Hrm.

june04 Sat 09-Jun-18 07:38:32

Use numbing cream on the area before you go or by a buzzy for shots! Not sure, sorry. I know so many type 1 children on so many injections a day and they use these. Also maybe show her you tube videos of type 1 kids having a shot. They don't make a fuss perhaps will make her see it's ok?

Happygolucky009 Sat 09-Jun-18 07:56:27

We got some emla cream from the chemist and reassured dc when they needed a blood test. But I would do lots of conversations, reassurance and perhaps therapy too!

Havetothink Mon 11-Jun-18 18:27:21

How about bribery? A treat or present once it's done, emphasize how quick it'll be and don't mention it hurting?

DevilsDoorbell Mon 11-Jun-18 18:34:51

Another needle phobic here. I think holding her down is a terrible idea

I would also recommend the numbing cream. If you can get some for her to try before the injection so she can see that it really does make the area numb. I

Talk to her well in advance of going, explain what the jab is for and what could happen if she doesn’t have it. Find out why she is so afraid. Can you take her and let her see you having an injection so she knows there’s nothing to fear?

I know she’s a child and she needs to have this done but forcing her against her will is, in my opinion, a really stupid idea and could make her trust you less next time.

Also some nurses are better than others at injections and understanding fears, is it possible to see someone else, maybe find someone who specialises with phobic kids

BertieBotts Mon 11-Jun-18 19:50:09

We're in Germany too, in a TBE danger area and I admit I haven't made DS get this one because he is needle phobic. Unfortunately he's inherited that from me, I really tried to keep things calm and separate out the task from my feelings, but either he takes after me or he picked up on my anxiety anyway.

Anyway someone posted something fairly robust - not antivax conspiracy stuff - on our local FB group about the benefits of this particular vaccine being fairly low, and it made me feel better about skipping it actually. I had been thinking of revisiting the issue this year as we've moved much closer to the forest and are spending more time in it but other things have got in the way and I haven't got around to it yet.

In any case it is something I'll need to address as DS is 9 and they like them to have the chicken pox vaccination at 10ish if they haven't had the illness by then.

I will try to find the info my friend shared.

SeaToSki Mon 11-Jun-18 19:55:25

Do you think the nurse would let her guide the needle and then push the plunger. My dc was able to manage to get over his issues when he felt like he had control over the situation. It was a very clever doctor who offered him that option and it took all the panic out of it. The doctor still basically gave the shot, but ds helped.

BertieBotts Mon 11-Jun-18 21:12:32

Here is the info, a German PDF explaining the relative risks:

Plus this site, which now I look at it, is a little sketchy in terms of being more on the side of questioning vaccination, but they do seem to be in favour of a fact/info based approach, so may help. This is in German too, but at least google will translate it for you if you don't read German:

The summary of the information is that TBE is generally much more risky for adults than for children and that when children contract it they tend to have a very mild case. Of course, it still may be worth having. A few people in the thread mentioned that their paediatrician recommended to wait and see if the child is especially tick-prone.

In any case the needle issue will need to be addressed, either for the chicken pox vaccine or the HPV which they recommend between 9 and 11 years.

I like the look of that buzzy thing, but it looks like you can only get it in the US.

toomuchtooold Tue 12-Jun-18 23:15:03

Bertie thank you for that info, I will go through it. Maybe my priority should be getting myself immunised then! DD2 does unfortunately seem to be a tick attractor (2 this year so far) but she anyway needs to get her Hep A and B done so...

bluechameleon Tue 12-Jun-18 23:21:18

I just had to take my 3 year old for his preschool boosters. He was scared but ok for the first shot - I let him choose a reward beforehand (he chose a kinder egg) and he held it while he was having the shot. Unfortunately they do two shots at this appointment and he totally broke down and had to be pinned down for this.

Andro Wed 13-Jun-18 09:54:39

Can she articulate what she's scared of?

Finding the best way to manage a needle phobia usually rests in finding the root cause, the major ones are:

Negative/traumatic experience
Fear of pain
Learned response
Feeling 'weird' afterwards (normally a vasovagal response that they can't control and not knowing what's happening can be scary)

Restraint can be necessary in some situations, but can also make the phobia worse.

I feel like by not forcing her to have the injection, we're pandering to the notion that there is something really scary about injections.

Would you tell someone with clinical depression to cheer up because you're not pandering to their low mood? Thought not!

You might find the overview here interesting reading:

toomuchtooold Wed 13-Jun-18 11:19:16

Would you tell someone with clinical depression to cheer up because you're not pandering to their low mood? Thought not

Are you trying to help?

Andro Wed 13-Jun-18 11:39:28

Are you trying to help?

Yes, but I was also very frustrated when I replied so was sharper than I ought to have been.

A phobia of needles is a medical condition, just like depression. I took exception to the use of 'pandering' in reference to needle phobia - hence my parallel with depression. Needle phobia, if not managed correctly, can be fatal - in very rare cases directly as a consequence of the phobic response, but also indirectly via the avoidance of medical treatment. All too often it's not taken seriously or managed appropriately, most children outgrow their phobias but about 20% of the population remain phobic.

I had a friend whose parents 'refused to pander to her fear', notice the 'had'...she died recently and it should have been entirely avoidable. Please, please, please don't belittle what your DD is experiencing, get her help and support.

DevilsDoorbell Wed 13-Jun-18 13:55:15

Well said Andro

I’ve had to deal with some really unkind and unprofessional nurses, luckily they are more kind and sympathetic ones. Had someone have held me down and forced and injection, it would have made things so much worse.

toomuchtooold Wed 13-Jun-18 15:40:28

Android I'm sorry about your friend, but I'm not her parents, and I have helped my DD through fears before so I do have some basis for thinking that a) she will be better if she gets one injection under her belt and b) she wouldn't have to be particularly scared for her to refuse to do it, as we are usually pretty gentle with her and respect her "no", as I said before - I do think children's bodily autonomy is important (although not inviolable). A PP has said that she consents to being held down for immunisations, so this is something I feel happy to discuss with my DD - whether she would want me to hold her still while the nurse does the injection. I would try it one time and see if it worked - like anything else in parenting, if it didn't help I wouldn't be doing it twice. But as I've said I know my DD, and I'm not convinced that making a big thing of it - therapy, changing GP - is going to make it any easier for her.

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