It is possible to have an easier and less stressful visit to a healthcare professional when your child needs vaccinations. Depending on your child’s age, there are a few simple things you can do to achieve a better outcome before, during, and after the appointment. These include preparing before the appointment and comforting them during the visit.
Prepare before your child’s appointment
You and your child will experience less stress if you come prepared for an appointment. Make sure to read all paperwork your health care provider has given you. Write down any questions you have and take them to the appointment. You should be aware of the recommended schedule for childhood immunizations and local school requirements as well. Review vaccination information statements, which can be found at the pediatrician’s office. Also, don’t forget to bring your child’s personal immunization record to the healthcare provider after you have made sure that it is current. This tells the pediatrician which vaccinations your child has already received.
You can be prepared to comfort your child by bringing along a favorite toy, blanket, or book. If your child has a mild illness, check with your doctor to see if there is any reason why they should avoid the shot.
It is important for you to be honest with your child and tell them that vaccinations will give them a little sting or pinching feeling. Tell them that this will not last for long and ask other family members to support your child. You should also avoid making threats about shots or telling scary stories about them. Remember to tell your child about the health benefits of getting vaccinations as well.
Handing vaccinations with babies or young children
If you have a baby or small child, try distracting them by cuddling, talking softly to them, or singing. Let them know everything is okay and make sure to make eye contact with them. You can also comfort them with a familiar object from home. If possible, hold your child on your lap and be very supportive once your child has had their shot. Swaddle babies, provide skin to skin contact, offer a sweet drink like juice, or breastfeed to show them everything is normal.
Giving vaccinations to older children
You can help an older child handle the slight pain from a shot by taking deep breaths with them. Distractions are helpful, such as pointing out interesting things in the room or telling a story. You should never scold your child if they cry or shame them for not being brave. It is possible, and common, for an adolescent to faint after their vaccination. Your child should stay in a sitting position for 15 minutes after the shot to prevent this from happening. You may want to ask your healthcare provider about giving your child a pain reliever after the vaccination or advice about further comforting them.
What to expect after vaccinations are administered
It is possible for your child to have a small reaction after the shot, such as fever, pain at the injection site, or a rash. These are normal side effects that can be easily minimized. You can review the vaccine literature given to you by the healthcare provider to be aware of side effects. A cool, wet cloth provides comfort and relief from soreness, swelling, or redness. Non-aspirin pain reliever and a cool sponge bath can bring down a fever.
Make sure your child gets enough water to drink after the shot. You should also know that they may not have a normal appetite for up to 24 hours after the vaccine is given. Pay special attention to your child for a few days after their visit and contact the doctor if something seems wrong.
Where to go for vaccinations and how to pay for them
Your health insurance will most likely pay for your child’s vaccinations. However, you may want to call the customer service department to verify the pediatrician of your choice is covered by your insurance. If you do not have insurance or your plan does not cover the shots, ask your pediatrician about other options. Another place you could check is the local health department. They will be able to tell you if there are any public health clinics in your area that give eligible people free vaccines.
Find the best pediatrician for vaccinations in Amarillo, Texas
If your child is in need of vaccinations, you should contact a pediatrician you can trust. Dr. John M. Young is committed to providing the best clinical experience for you and your child. Contact Us by email or call our office at (806) 354-0404 ext. 3330 to schedule an appointment with us today. You can also visit us in person at 1500 S. Coulter St. Suite #3 in Amarillo, Texas to learn more about our services, including recommended and required vaccinations.