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Californian Doctor Lists Ways to Help Kids With Fear of Needles

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By Christian Webster - - 5 Mins Read
Frightened child afraid of needles
Fear of needles | Shutterstock

Most children fear needles and injections, and new parents often feel anxious before every doctor's appointment, anticipating their child's inevitable reaction of yelling and tears due to the pain.

Fortunately, a doctor in California has conducted research to help children manage their fear and pain associated with needles and syringes.

The doctor surveyed to gauge mothers' reactions when their children receive vaccinations.

The feedback from the mothers varied but shared similar sentiments.

One mother, whose six-month-old son is Remy Anthes, admitted to crying more than her son when he received his first vaccine at a hospital in California.

Another mother described the expression on her daughter's face as incredibly difficult to witness.

"The expression in her eye was too hard to take in, like, why do you let them do this to me?" She probably felt betrayed, she narrated.

Studies have shown that some children still remember the pain after the needles and syringes have been administered, while others internalize the fear.

Julia Creamer said her 3-year-old daughter had some blood drawn from her while she was 2 years old for an allergy test, and she developed a fear of blue gloves after that.

"We went to get some groceries at the mall and she started crying when she saw an attendant wearing blue gloves, restocking the vegetables, she freaked out," she said.

The memories of the previous administration of needles and injections can increase the fear of the next vaccination. They might even follow the children as they grow, which can lead to a phobia of injections known as Trypanophobia

Doctors have warned that the fear of needles and injections has become so severe that many children and parents do not complete their treatment, leading to the occurrence of illnesses.


Also read: 15 Bizzare Phobias That Are Actually Very Common


How To Help Your Child Deal With Fear of Needles And Injection

After conducting the research, Stefan Friedrichsdorf, a specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, is assisting other medical professionals in finding different ways to help children overcome their fear of needles and injections.

Most of his methods are currently used in the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals. He tagged this procedure as the "Ouchless Jab Challenge," and this is how it works.

  1. Mothers should breastfeed their babies while the shot is being administered to them or give them sugar-deep pacifiers to comfort them.
  2. Apply a numbing cream 30 minutes before the injection is administered.
  3. Avoid pinning your kid down on the table, it's advised that you hold your child on the lap instead.
  4. Distractions such as Bubbles, Teddy Bears, or pinwheels can also divert the baby's attention, making the process less painful.
  5. For children who are up to 5 years and above, parents can inform them days or weeks before the injection, this will make them mentally prepared for the shot. You can also tell them it won't hurt too much.