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Easing kids' fears of getting a COVID-19 shot

Posted at 6:04 AM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 09:04:50-04

PHOENIX — While some parents are anxious to get younger kids vaccinated against COVID-19, no one is excited about the tears that often follow getting a shot. There are some things you can do to help ease your child's fears ahead of the visit.

The Little Medical School has these tips:

1. Bring a stuffed animal or doll. It's comforting and you can ask the pediatrician to show your child where the shot is going on their doll and even do a pretend shot first.

2. Help familiarize kids with the doctor's tools. There is a wide range of toys that mimic the real thing in the doctor's office, like the stethoscope, so it takes the mystery out ahead of time.

3. Put a positive spin on the visit. Dr. Mary Mason, the founder of the Little Medical School, says before you go in, talk about the importance of what doctors are doing and all the people who work there.

"There's nurses, a dietitian may be a medical assistant and then the physician and nurse. So you can use that to show your kid all the different careers in health care and that can be a very positive way to look at it cause they're all working together as a team," said Dr. Mason.

Her final tip is to praise your child after the shot. That's where the colorful band-aids and lollipops come in so the entire experience ends with a good memory.