September 28, 2009

Bubbles minimize flu shot fussing

Bringing soap bubbles is a way parents can help minimize flu shot fussing, a U.S. child pain expert advises.

The parents blow bubbles during the injections, suggesting they are blowing away the hurt. With a crying infant, if the parent places the plastic bubble maker in front of the child's mouth, as the children cry out they will make bubbles.

I have seen babies stop crying mid-cry because they were distracted by the bubbles, Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer, director of the Pediatric Pain Program at Mattel Children's Hospital, University of California, Los Angeles, says in a statement.

Parents can help an older child relax and breathe out by asking them to pretend they are blowing up a balloon or using their imagination to experience being somewhere else, such as at the park or the beach. Other distraction ideas include jokes, video games, stories and music.

Finally, do not lie to your child about getting an injection, says Zeltzer. No one likes to get poked with a needle, but if you reassure your child that there are ways to make the hurt go away, then you can help them achieve a successful, less painful experience.