Needle Phobia: How to prepare kids for a shot

Needle Phobia: How to prepare kids for a shot
2 years 6 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, November 23 2021 Nov 23, 2021 November 23, 2021 5:13 PM November 23, 2021 in News - Local

Doctors say the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated, but getting the shot can prove challenging for some.

When 17-year-old Madeline Garcia sees a sharp needle, she instantly gets uncomfortable.

“I have a big phobia of needles,” Garcia said. “I just don’t like it.”

And she’s not alone.

Data from the U.S. National Library of Medicine shows about 50 percent of children exhibit needle fear. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a quarter of adults share a fear of needles, and an estimated seven percent avoid immunizations.

“Some children run away,” said DHR Health Dr. Marissa Gomez-Martinez. “They literally run out the door, screaming, kicking. We get it all.”

Gomez-Martinez works with children daily, and says now with the COVID-19 vaccine available for children five and older, there are ways parents can help their little ones prepare before even getting the shot.

“Have them bring a toy, their favorite stuffed animal and we can practice on their stuffed animal first and then they can hold their stuffed animal while they get theirs,” Gomez-Martinez said.

Medical experts also suggest some of the best ways to overcome needle phobia are to watch videos of needles, or to actually take a good look at the syringe before getting the shot.

Gomez-Martinez says if your young children have an extreme fear of needles, always avoid pinning them down as it could make their fear more severe.

Instead, hold them tight and show them that you care.

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