Mom blog: Needle tips

Mom Blogger JacquelynNow, that is one misleading title!
Grandma reads: “Needle tips: always use a pincushion, not the arm of the chair”;
savvy social worker reads: “Needle tips: never use someone else’s”;
kid reads: “Needle tips: they are very sharp and you should never play with needles’;
Mom reads: “Needle tips: oh goody, maybe some decent advice on how to get through the flu shot!”

We’ll be looking at the tips for getting little girls and guys through the next needle visit to the pediatrician.

Off-topic question: I’m visiting my mum and her new hip this weekend—what should I take for a gift?!?! Any suggestions most appreciated. Respond here, or to

Back to Needle Tips:

    Emla cream or an Emla patch will numb the area—when my 14-year-old was 8 and had 2.5 years of chemo, we used the patch for many, many needles. It helped a lot, and it made him feel that he was actually doing something to make it hurt less.

    I was with my dear daughter in law when my 2 yr old grand daughter received her flu shot.
    The best suggestion (although they have to do it for it to work) is to explain that when the needle is going into a relaxed muscle it hurts but way less than when it has to fight its way into a tight muscle. When we know we are getting a shot we all tend to brace ourselves which means we tighten up all of our muscles. So instead of thinking of the big Ouch we are about to get we need to think warm fuzzy thoughts that will help us stay as relaxed as possible. Yes the shot will still hurt but incredibly less and we will get over it way faster!!! I promise it’s true.

    When my children were little, I never told them what was happening at the doctor. As they got older and smarter, I told them it was up to the doctor, that he would decide. As soon as he would say, oh, I see we need some medicine, I’d say what is this medicine worth doctor?, and he’d say one toy or two toys or a toy and a donut, and we would keep the children very busy thinking and calling out “prizes” and it sure seemed to work.

    Big hugs.

    I practise honesty—yes, it is going to hurt, but thank goodness it’s only going to hurt for a super short time. I encourage all my kids to squeal, shout and cry, but to realize when it stops hurting, and then stop crying. As long as the crying is over by the time we leave the examining room, we go shop for a present—toy, clothing, rent a movie, $5 worth of Airheads. This works on kids 3 to 16 (and counting).
    —me again (it’s my blog, I can respond to my own questions!)

    When my son needed to have blood drawn, the nurse at the lab suggested he lie down instead of sit in a chair. I held up my cell phone so he could see it and I flipped through the photos, getting him to say what was there. Now, we always ask for needles while lying down, and he is much less stressed.

    I think kids need to be distracted—a portable DVD player, ipod, or a game on a phone, or a bubble wand, or a doll to do a silly dance or for mom to hit herself over the head with a stuffed animal (my mom did that). My little sister is very bossy, and the doctor lets her decide which arm, where she wants to sit, if her stuffed animal gets a shot and where, and she gets to say when she gets it, at the beginning or at the end or in the middle of the visit. She doesn’t really cry, she just does a little scream. I have a question, why can’t you just get a pill instead of a needle?

That IS a very good question. I will try to find an answer, Sydney. My Luka had the very same question last week!

Have a great weekend, see you Monday!


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