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need advice on shots for 4-year old

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Old 12-17-2004, 08:55 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 395
danimal15 HB User
need advice on shots for 4-year old

My older son, who will be five in February, is due to receive routine vaccination shots the next time he goes to the doctor. My wife and I are dreading this, because this is a boy who is very squeamish about anything medical - getting him to take medicine, for instance, is almost impossible. He won't even eat a chewable vitamin. And this is the first time he'll have had any vaccinations since he was a baby.

How should we approach this? We're afraid if we tell him about the shots too far in advance, he'll live in fear. But if we spring the news on him that day, it might seem to him like we've been sneaky. I'm sure many of you have been through this. How did you deal with it? How did it turn out?


Last edited by danimal15; 12-17-2004 at 02:14 PM.

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Old 12-19-2004, 06:47 AM   #2
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Fallen2love HB User
Re: need advice on shots for 4-year old

At that age, I screamed and cried and ran to hid in the bathroom...because somebody gave me a shot that hurt really badly once and it seemed like they didn't know what they were doing.

My brother is weird about blood being drawn, my mom has to do it instead of a nurse or doctor, [luckly she is qualified to that not everyone is].

My other brother, if my mom said, she take him to get a toy or ice cream, something special, if he was good then he'd sit there and do what they would say.

Old 12-20-2004, 03:10 AM   #3
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MandyAnne26 HB User
Re: need advice on shots for 4-year old

I've heard the theory that you should talk with them and prepare them. I have also heard that you shouldn't tell them it's coming. I will tell you why i think you shouldn't tell him..(i never told my son when getting needles that age). If you tell him he won't want to go to the doctor, instead of getting through the checkup with no problems he will be nervous and scared (over something that literaly takes seconds). Depending on how sever the fear is you could have quite a time getting him to go. Kids, and adults tend to build things up in their minds so things seem worse than they are, if he only knows for a min or two (wisper to the doctor that he doesn't know) than it won't be so bad for him. You can bring along a stuffed animal, take him out for icecream or a treat afterwords to help him feel better, hold him while he's getting it done.
Some might say not telling is tricking him, i say it's giving him some peace of mind.
My 10 year old is still scared of needles, but he will take them if he has to.

Old 12-20-2004, 05:53 AM   #4
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Re: need advice on shots for 4-year old

I totally agree with Mandy.why put him through all of that unnesescary anxiety.just go to the doc and when it happens, it happens.My youngest son has had to get routine blood draws for years due to a transplanted liver.Before the Tx he was always having to have tons of tests and blood tests and stuff.Some of these tests were very painful and after watching him get all anxious and stuff before the ones that we 'prepared" him for,he seemed to do so much better when the time came if he did not have to sit and think about it before hand.Just take him and le the nurse tell him about it right before it happens,and at that time, just be there and reassure him that it is going to hurt a little but it will be over really soon.I don't think telling him about whats coming will really make a difference in how well he handles it.I would just leave it alone.hope all goes well.Marcia

Old 01-20-2005, 07:31 AM   #5
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curious1979 HB User
Re: need advice on shots for 4-year old


Have you tried getting the play doctors kits that your son can play with? My daughter is 2 and we act out trips to her doctors. We show her what each instrument is and that the dr. is there to help up. She then pretends to be the dr and gives US a shot. We act very brave but do "cry" a little. We don't want her to think it doesn't hurt, but it is not the end of the world. I took her for her 2 yr shot and she was a trooper. I explained the day of her appointment what was going to happen. Her doctor is excellent too! When it was time for her shot, you could tell she was nervous. I gave her a little pinch on the leg to let her know what the shot was going to feel like. When the tech came in the room to do the deed, Rae was prepared. She gave a loud "ouch" and it was over. I told her how proud I was of her...praise, praise, praise. She also got a treat after..a lollipop. I have NO problems with her getting a shot now. She got a flu shot and she knew what was coming. No problem. I would recommend roll playing with your son. You can also get a cream from the dr. that numbs the site so he will not feel the pinch. Good Luck!!

Old 01-21-2005, 01:08 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 309
whiteluluflower HB User
Re: need advice on shots for 4-year old

my nephew just turned 5, so, he had to get a shot, he was worried.. (we told him the day of).. but..he didnt cry or anything. yay... lol. and after, the doctor gave him a sucker. lol. and i siad, he would get a treat after shots. (i gave him dunkaroos). lol

woo. lol, and the same day, we found out, he had an ear infection as, we didnt know.. and it wasnt bothering him.

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Old 01-26-2005, 11:09 AM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2004
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rubato HB User
Re: need advice on shots for 4-year old

I don't know if I agree with everyone. I think sometimes we need to give our children a little credit. Not telling him he's getting a shot until the nurse walks in with the needle, could, in his eyes, be a betrayal by you. My son turned 5 in November and was in need of 3 shots. He also has asthma, so we decided to get a flu shot that day. We told him the night before. We talked through it and he understood why he needed to get the shots even though they would probably hurt a little. And, he got a reward. We took him out to lunch afterwards. Yes, it hurt, and yes, he did cry a little after the nurse left, but he has agreed to get a flu shot every year now. Of course, he's thrilled that he doesn't have to get any others for quite a few years. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Old 02-26-2005, 07:47 PM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
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AliR HB User
Re: need advice on shots for 4-year old

My kids also freak out at the idea of a needle. The most recent time, I told them the day before, not too early so they had too much time to worry, but also not springing it on them at the last minute. As well, I bought this patch at the drug store. I forget what it is called, but it goes on their arm about two hours before the needle and numbs the area. It definitely helped.

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