Do these simple things before, during, and after to make getting a flu shot easier for kids. Great tips for anyone who has a child who is scared of getting a flu shot!
Getting the flu shot has been a struggle for our kids in the past. We’re talking running from the room screaming, having to be caught by nurses and brought back to the room level difficult.
But during these “learning experiences,” I’ve picked up a few tips to help make getting the flu shot easier for kids.
With flu season fast approaching, I wanted to start preparing myself, as well as any other mamas out there who may be thinking about getting their kids flu shots. Today I’m going to share how to make getting a flu shot easier for kids before the shot, during the shot, and after the shot!
How to Make Getting a Flu Shot Easier for Kids
Before the Shot
Don’t tell them very far in advance
If your child is prone to anxiety or worrying (like my oldest), don’t tell them days in advance that you’re taking him to get his flu shot. Be smart and don’t just spring it on them, but don’t give them a ton of time to dwell on what’s coming.
Talk about why we get flu shots
Some kids respond to logic better than others, so if explaining why we get flu shots will work for your kid, go for it! Even preschoolers can understand that when we get a flu shot, it helps prevent other people (like grandma and grandpa) from getting sick!
Get the flu shot somewhere they’re already comfortable with
It makes sense that kids would be more comfortable getting their flu shot done somewhere they’re familiar with, rather than some random pharmacy, right? Places like Target, Walmart, or even Costco offer flu shots, too!
Let them bring something, or someone, to help them be brave
That might be a picture of a family member, a favorite stuffed animal, or even Grandma and Grandpa!
Get your flu shot done first so they can see that it’s not scary
The expression “lead by example” definitely applies here. Getting your flu shot first shows your child that it’s not scary and isn’t something to cry about.
During the Shot
Have your child focus on you, not on the shot
When the shot is about to happen, make sure you talk to your child. Have them look in your eyes, not at the shot, and distract them by talking about something else, whether it’s what they want to do later in the day, their favorite movie, or what they are learning in school.
Depending on their age, let your child sit on your lap or hold your hand
My oldest is seven, and honestly, he’s probably going to be getting his flu shot on my lap again this year! Holding your child close, or even just holding their hand, reminds them you’re there with them and helps them feel more comfortable.
After the Shot
Bring a special bandage for when it’s over
Yup, it sounds kind of strange, but it’s helped my kids a lot to bring a bandage from home for after their shots. Pick one that is their favorite color or has their favorite character from a movie or TV show on it. They’ll be more excited to have a special bandage on than just a generic one they didn’t get to pick.
Get a treat
Hard things are always easier when you have a special treat or reward to look forward to when it’s done, right? So pick something, like an ice cream cone or a new book or toy, and let them have it when you’re done.
Getting a flu shot doesn’t have to be scary, and by using these tips, you can make getting a flu shot easier for kids. Help encourage them to be brave, be there by their side, and reward them when they’re done! And together, we can all contribute to a healthier community!