There is this 11-year-old girl. The word needle itself frightens her. It upsets her so much that at the mention of it, her heartbeat increases and her stomach begins to hurt. Her breathing grows faster. And she cannot talk about it without feeling miserable.
We decided to go back to the basics.
We looked at certain cartoons of kids receiving their shots against COVID 19. I asked her how she would feel if they do it. She then reminded me that those were cartoons.
Confused As To How To Talk To Your Young Children About Covid Vaccines
I showed her some pictures of medical needles. She told me that she did not like those pictures. But she can look at them and not be scared.
The process went on for a while. At a stage, she gave that “orange signal” for the vaccine. She can handle it with her parents beside her.
What she was having all this time is a process called exposure therapy. It helped her manage the fear. Slowly and steadily, she could speak about her own vaccination.
Eliminating vaccine-hesitancy through exposure therapy needs time and professional supervision. Parents, however, are eager to vaccinate their little ones the day the shots are ready to be administered. They may neither have the time nor the skills required to help their children. But they require help.
Plan well in advance. This allows you the time you need to eliminate your children’s fears about vaccination. Parents who have handled children’s fears about vaccination will tell you one thing. Fear of needles for a child is quite normal. A vast majority of children have experienced needle phobia at one or the other time in their life. The study also shows that needle phobia is more common among females rather than among males.
You don’t have to despair if your children are not that happy about the Biden administration’s plans to vaccinate kids. There are certain things you can do to help them out:
- Know that time is of utmost importance
You may want to announce your children’s vaccination the moment you hear about it. But pause a minute before noting it down in your family’s calendar. Ask yourself, when should you tell your child about it? The general rule is one day for every single year of a child’s life.
For instance, if you want to prepare your six-year-old child for vaccination, you should tell him continuously for six days. You should also learn to trust your intuition. Treat every single child as a unique individual. If your child is an information seeker, you need to wait until there are just a few days for the appointment. Otherwise, the kid may spend days thinking and fearing about that day.
If your child is a slow learner, let him know well in advance. This gives him the time he needs to grasp things.
- Remain calm when explaining things
As parents, you should remain calm when explaining vaccinations. It is from you that your children learn how to respond to situations. Try to stick to neutral language all the time. For instance, it is not a shot, but a vaccine. It is poking or pinch, not poke.
You are sure to be experienced in alleviating the fears of children in accordance with their age. Do so and prepare a coping kit so that you are ready for any unexpected situation.
Finally, bring a few items that can comfort your child. Your child’s favorite stuffed animal or a blanket will do the trick. In the end, when everything goes smoothly, don’t forget to reward your child. Create the impression that your child will have the reward for being good. Time to spend with friends or visit their grandfather. A bit of excitement will do wonders.
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