Needles are no fun, especially for kids. While we’ve mentioned before that cartoons and video games can distract both kids and adults from the pain of a shot, there are actually a ton of other techniques that can help — including applying a numbing cream. Photo by Matt McDaniel.
These creams are little-known but safe and effective for reducing the pain of shots, according to a 2007 study in Pediatrics. If you plan to use one, talk to your doctor about it first: they have to be applied 30 to 60 minutes in advance, and they can be dangerous if misused, for example by applying them to very large areas of skin.
That’s just one of the suggestions from Today’s Parent about how to reduce the pain of shots, but there are many more. For example, babies seem to experience less pain if they suck on a pacifier that’s been dipped in sugar water, or if they breastfeed during the shot. Check out the link below for more, including distraction techniques for older kids.
How to Help Kids Overcome the Fear of Needles [Today’s Parent]