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Tips to Prepare Your Child for a COVID-19 Vaccine

There are ways to help make it easier

How to prepare your child for the COVID-19 Vaccine
News that the COVID-19 vaccine was available to children ages five to 11 had many parents breathing a sigh of relief. However, some parents faced a new challenge. Convincing their fearful child to get the vaccine. Our team at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital has some tips on how you can help your child prepare for their COVID-19 vaccine.

After dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly two years, many parents celebrated when the COVID-19 vaccine was approved for kids age five to 11. However, many kids weren’t so excited. Parents now face a different challenge – trying to calm the nerves of their anxious child.

The child-life team with Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital has some tips for parents on how to prepare children for their COVID-19 vaccine.

Tell the truth

Honest, accurate, age-appropriate explanations are best. It’s OK to acknowledge that the injection might hurt but put that feeling in context by comparing it to a pinch or poke. If we don’t define what “hurt” means, kids may use their imagination to come up with something much worse than the reality.

No surprises

Talk to the physician or nurse administering the vaccine and share a plan that works best for your child and stick to that plan. Sometimes providers will “surprise” kids and give the injection earlier than planned and that break the child’s trust. You can avoid this situation by requesting to stick to a plan.

Ask about pain management

Before going to your child’s vaccine appointment, ask about what comfort measures are available. There are a number of topical numbing creams and sprays that can be used to minimize needle pain but some need time to take effect. It’s best to know the plan before leaving home.

Advocate for comfort positioning

Depending on the age of your child and their comfort level with needles, the medical professional giving the vaccine may want you to hold your child to minimize movement. Ask if you can hold your child in a chest-to-chest hug position on your lap. This position is less threatening than being held down by strangers and allows you to talk to, distract, and comfort your child while the doctor or nurse administers the vaccine.

Stroudsburg Area School District vaccine clinic

COVID-19 Vaccines

Information about the vaccines, including how to schedule an appointment.

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