Does the needle scare you from getting vaccinated
Dr Paula Goel, Pediatrician & adolescent Physician , Fayth Clinic
‘A needle makes my blood run cold’ . Does the needle scare you , so that you avoid doing blood tests or taking any injections which are required including vaccinations .
Many are deathly afraid of a needle that could save their lives. So scary, in fact, that studies show the needle averse individuals routinely skip medical procedures — vaccines, tooth removal, blood tests — that they know are good for them. 16 % of adults avoid the injections because of it
Here are some tips to distract you :
- Distract yourself while you’re waiting.Bring along a game, book, music, or movie — something you’ll get completely caught up in so you’re not sitting in the waiting room thinking about the shot..
- Concentrate on taking slow, deep breaths.Breathe all the way down into your belly. Deep breathing can help people relax — and concentrating on something other than the shot can take your mind off it.
- Focus intently on something in the room.Find a picture, poster, or a sign on the wall. Concentrate on the details. Whatever it takes, keep focusing on something other than the shot until it’s over.
- Research shows that coughing once before and once during the shot can help some people feel less pain.
- Relax your arm.If you’re tense, it can make a shot hurt more — especially if you tense up the area where you’re getting the shot
- Don’t shame or humiliate. Acknowledge the fear as genuine and help your child work through it, even if it requires seeing a therapist
- Counseling for needle anxiety, is like any other phobias, through cognitive behavioral therapy Instead of avoiding pictures of needles, psychologists steadily expose patients to more and more images of needles. They progress to using fake but realistic needles to simulate the process of receiving an injection, even using real alcohol wipes.
- Experts and vaccine advocates say there are other, short-term solutions, including using pain-blocking gels, intentionally tensing and relaxing muscles repeatedly to induce relaxation, mindfulness, and flat-out distraction.
- Another technique is to press the thumb firmly into the child’s arm, producing a temporary soreness than can mask the sensation of the flu shot.
- If your child is truly needle-phobic, talk to your doctor about whether anti-anxiety medication is needed.
- If your child is simply anxious, try distractions: play games, ask questions, tell stories, sing songs, blow bubbles, show a movie or a cellphone video. Pre-schoolers can be caressed in a parent’s arms and comforted gently.
- Don’t lie to your child that the doctor’s visit won’t involve a shot or that that the shot will be absolutely painless. Dishonesty and trickery could exacerbate your child’s fear and distrust
- Sometimes people feel lightheaded or faint after getting a shot. If you feel funny, sit or lie down and rest for 15 minutes.
- Don’t hesitate to tell the doctor or nurse that you’re nervous before getting the shot. Medical professionals are used to people who are afraid of shots and they’ll be able to help you relax.
So , we hope some of these pointers will help you to deal with your fear of the needle and hopefully help you to get through medical procedures with less stress.
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