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Old 04-17-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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Vaxxing and kids with needle phobias... Wdyd?

My 7yo is crazy scared of shots. Like... Her blood curdling screams can be heard through 4 concrete walls. And that is BEFORE the nurse arrives with the needle. Last time we did this it took THREE people to drag her out from behind the exam table, hold her down and give her the shots (poor thing!). So... She is due for more shots next week. Do I tell her? If I tell her now, she will spend the next week freaking out, carrying on, refusing to go, throwing fits. I don't really want to go through all that. If I spring it on her... That seems kind of unfair, right? But... What's the best way to handle this? WWYD?

FWIW, we have had her go with dh to get his allergist shots so she could see him do it with no screaming, and today her sister got shots - I didn't say anything bc I don't want her to feel I am comparing, but her sister didn't scream, just said "ow."- we have talked about it in the past - about it and talked and talked. She just panics.

So... If you have one of these kids (or were one on these kids) advice appreciated!

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Old 04-17-2012, 08:13 PM   #2
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I dont have one of those kids but I was one of those kids!

Kicking,punching, screaming, and crying were all part of shot visits for me. I was terrified of needles. I've gotten better as the years go one. I can saw that as a child I was truely terrified of the needle going through my skin. The sheer thought of it made my skin crawl! They would sit on me, hold me down or strap me to the chairs with the restraints.

It seems unfair but I would not tell her about the shots. She will make herself sick until the appt.
for you and for her. I know how scared she is. It makes me sad just thinking about it. I remember my heart pounding and feeling like my blood was on fire. I feel like i'm reliving it just thinking about it.

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Old 04-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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Re: Vaxxing and kids with needle phobias... Wdyd?

I was that person until I was pregnant with dd1. Terrified as a child. Terrified as an adult.
The only thing that made me get over it really was all the blood I had taken when I was pregnant. I was still terrified, and told the staff that, and never looked, but having it done so much helped me deal.

Having said that, I haven't had any in a while and now I'm scared again.

One thing that someone told me that really does work is to wiggle your toes. Keep wiggling. Apparently you can't wiggle your toes and think about something else. Weird but true. Just keep telling her to wiggle her toes and that will help her get through it. I have to wiggle my toes the ENTIRE time I'm at the dentist!
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:43 PM   #4
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I was one of those kids and one of those adults. Can't give blood - get very nervous before my blood is drawn.

I just sorta had to get over it. My mother wasn't going to let me out of the shots and as an adult, I started to notice I was embarrassing myself. I can't look, I can't make nervous conversation with the phlebotomist. I'm scrunching up my hands and breathing fast, but I close my eyes and it's never as bad as I imagined.

I know that's probably not overly helpful. But FWIW, I am not long term traumatized by getting shots and would much prefer to not know in advance.

I still can't get my DD's blood drawn. They wanted to do it 6 months ago and I can't handle that. I barely handle her getting shots.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:49 PM   #5
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Re: Vaxxing and kids with needle phobias... Wdyd?

I have a child with Severe doctor anxiety.. funny thing is she's never gotten a shot in her life!! I can't imagine how much more worse it would be if we did vaccinate. lol

I'd spring it on her honestly. Miranda will freak out about things for weeks... ask tons of questions over and over and over again, completely drive us up the wall with her anixety.. so we normally spring things on her.. tell her on the way there or while we're there.. depending on what it is. good luck!
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:13 AM   #6
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Thanks ladies! So I guess the consensus is don't tell her in advance... Poor thing. We have talked and talked and I don't know how to help her get over it.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:31 AM   #7
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Re: Vaxxing and kids with needle phobias... Wdyd?

My oldest was like that. Since he has to have blood tests every 3-6 months that obviously was a problem. I started a policy that if one of my kids has to have something painful done at the doctor's they get a treat afterwards(small toy I let them pick out usually) Also counting soothes him so we would try and get him counting as they were getting ready. I don't know if he just got used to it, if those remedies worked or it was just him getting older but he no longer freaks out. It still obviously bothers him but not to the extent it used to.

Oh also, for vaccines we let him choose where they give it to him. As he's gotten older they tend to want to do it in the arm but he prefers the legs. Having some choice over the matter seems to help him. They do the blood draws in the arms still and those bother him much more than any vaccines do any more. He gets nightly injections of growth hormones, in the legs, and those don't bother him anymore at all.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jamieism
Thanks ladies! So I guess the consensus is don't tell her in advance... Poor thing. We have talked and talked and I don't know how to help her get over it.
I dont think you can. At least i know nothing anyone said or did as a kid helped me. She'll out grow it in her own time.
When i realized i had a fertility problem and would need a lot of testing and medical help to get pregnant I decided if i wanted a baby I needed to accept the fact that I would be seeing a lot of needles.

Funny thing- I wasnt afraid to get tattoos though

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Old 04-18-2012, 07:45 AM   #9
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So sorry, mama! I have always hated needles. My phobia has recently "improved" to just IVs and blood draws, lol!

I'm not sure if this would be a possibility for you, but do you think it would help her to try some EMLA cream on the injection site prior to her shots? I totally understand not wanting to tell her what's coming to prevent the anxiety, but if you choose to tell her, do you think the EMLA would bring her some peace of mind?

I've used our EMLA cream for my boys' shots before and I notice a difference in their reaction. From what i can tell, I think it at least numbs the initial poke pain. Of course, most shots are intramuscular so the cream doesn't penetrate that far. Even though the difference isn't huge, maybe it would help settle her nerves?

When I was about her age, I had an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic. My lips and face swelled huge and my airway was closing by the time we arrived at urgent care. At the desk, my mom was given a choice of a liquid or an injectable treatment for me. Mom told them that the reaction was anaphylactic and that I needed the shot right away. Despite the fact that I could hardly breathe, I cried and begged for Benadryl liquid anyway, haha! Didn't happen of course, but I'm alive to tell the tale .

Good luck to you and the little lady!
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
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Re: Vaxxing and kids with needle phobias... Wdyd?

I like the wiggle the toes suggestion. Not that this really compares, but my husband is terrified of shots. If only he realized how many times you get stuck with a needle when you're pregnant. After every shot he always comments that it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. I try to remind him of this before shots. She's just making it that much more traumatic by screaming and being upset. I wish I had some real advice, sorry.
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