Any parent can picture this scene. You’ve arrived at the vaccination clinic to get your child protected from COVID-19 and your child is nervous.
You try to provide reassurance. “It will be over soon, and you will be okay,” you say. “It won’t hurt.”
According to Northern Health, that’s actually the wrong approach to take. But don’t worry, it’s a common mistake.
By trying to provide comfort for your child in this way, you’re actually directing all their attention to the needle, heightening fear and concern.
Instead, an organization called ImmunizeBC says, you should speak in a calm, even and soft voice and say things like “You need the vaccine to stay healthy. The medicine will be put in your arm with a needle. You will feel a quick poke.”
This is why it works. “Your child is sensitive to your language and tone,” ImmunizeBC explains. “If you speak positively about vaccines, your child is more likely to feel positive about it as well.”
With children now eligible to be vaccinated across the province, it’s likely that you’re feeling mixed emotions. Relief, because they can be protected from catching and spreading a potentially terrible disease, and also anxiety, because let’s face it, needles and vaccines can be stressful.
Luckily, ImmunizeBC has a lot of helpful tips in addition to the advice above. You can check out the full article here.