Minimize Fears And Tears: Tips For The Shot Visit

While no one likes getting shots, sometimes for kids (and their parents) a simple immunization can turn into a full-blown emotional meltdown. Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for having a less stressful shot visit:

Before you go

Find your child’s personal immunization record and bring it to your appointment. This tells your doctor exactly which shots your child has already received.

Read through any vaccine materials you may have received about your child’s needed shots, and write down any questions you may have.

Bring along a favorite toy or book or other comfort item to your child’s medical visit.

At the Doctor’s Office

Cuddling, singing or talking softly are ways to distract and comfort your child

Smile and make eye contact. Let him or her know everything is okay

Hold your child firmly on your lap if possible

For older children, take deep breaths with your child to help “blow out” the pain

Read or tell stories

Support your child if he or she cries. Never scold a child for not “being brave”

Once your child has received all the shots at that visit, be especially supportive. Hold and cuddle him or her. For infants, breastfeed or offer a bottle if that’s calming. A soothing voice, combined with praise and hugs will help reassure your child that all is okay.


Use a cool, wet cloth to reduce redness, soreness and swelling at the shot injection site

Reduce any fever with a cool sponge bath. If your doctor approves, give non-aspirin pain reliever

Give your child lots of liquid. Sometimes children will eat less for the first 24 hours after getting vaccines

Pay extra attention to your child for a few days. If you see something that concerns you, call your doctor.

How GMC Can Help

If you’re looking for a family doctor, the Strickland Family Medicine Center is a full-scope family medicine center, treating all ages, from newborn to geriatrics, with a lab, procedure rooms and a clinical pharmacologist onsite.


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