What can you do to help if your child is afraid of needles?


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — With the approval from the CDC, local health departments say kids ages 5 to 11 can start getting COVID-19 vaccines as early as Wednesday.

“For parents who are choosing to get their children vaccinated, it can be hard on the parents as well as the kids. Nobody likes to get a shot. Most grown-ups don’t like to get a shot, but they’re able to control their emotions just a little better and keep things in check. For kids it can be very scary,” said Dr. Sherri Young, Health Director at Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Like many adults, whether it’s a COVID, flu, or other type of shot some kids will experience needle fear. Dr. Robin Darnell with Kids Pediatric explains how she alleviates nervousness before vaccinating a child.

“The kids are a little bit anxious. Their parents are a little bit anxious, but we have a numbing spray that we use for kids old enough to understand. It makes your arm kind of cold where you get the vaccine. We offer them ice packs sometimes if they’re nervous,” said Dr. Darnell.

Dr. Darnell says parents who bring their child to get vaccinated can often become fearful watching too.

“We do simple things like we try to divert their attention. You know if they want me to, I’ll hold their hand, we have their parents hold their hand, we have them look away, we have them close their eyes, we have them deep breathe. It’s over so quickly that they’re like, ‘oh my gosh, that was nothing,'” said Dr. Darnell.

Doctors say they try to make children as comfortable as possible when receiving any shot. If you’re still deciding on whether to vaccinate your child, Dr. Sherri Young says she advocates for it as both a doctor and a mom.

“Being a physician responsible for the community, this is what I want for our kids, this is what I want for our adults. As a mom, I can tell you it is a difficult decision to make, but as a mom, I gave the vaccine to my daughter the day after it became available for 12 to 15-year-olds,” said Dr. Young.

If you’re worried about your child having a reaction to the vaccine, Dr. Darnell says you can wait in the lobby for 15 minutes before leaving.

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