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28 Million Children Eligible for COVID Vaccine | States and Regions

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It is expected that an estimated 28 million children nationwide will soon be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine until Pfizer is approved for children aged 5 to 11 in the coming weeks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people over 6 months at this time of the year. It is added to the various immunizations given throughout childhood to protect against potentially life-threatening illnesses.

Taking shots can be nerve-wracking not only for many children, but also for their parents and caregivers, but medical professionals say that certain strategies and coping mechanisms minimize anxiety and pain in children. It is said that it can be suppressed to the limit.

Jenny Ott, director of childhood and family education at the University of Chicago, has applied some of these techniques to not only improve the current vaccination experience, but also to give children long-term skills. Can be trained to handle difficult or frightening medical procedures throughout life. medicine.

“It causes a lot of anxiety, but there are many times when parents can feel the power to do so,” she said. “We really lay the long-term foundation for a children’s health care encounter experience.”

Here are 12 tips to help adults calm their children and relieve pain during vaccination.

1. Make a plan. According to Otto, he will discuss future immunity in advance, tell him what his child can expect during the appointment, and allow him to ask questions.

She said that considering different coping strategies in advance can also help prepare the children and give them a greater sense of autonomy.

“What I recommend to parents is to work with their children to plan,” she said. “Talking to them about their vaccine will be an important part of this.”

That may mean deciding to bring comfort and distractions, such as your favorite TV shows on your tablet, soothing music, security blankets, your favorite plush toys, and stress balls.

2. Provide choices. This may include a decision as to which comfort item to bring to the appointment if the child wants to hold or count his hand during the injection. Children may also prefer to look away or watch the process during the shot.

Adults tend to automatically turn their eyes away from their children, but for some children this can spur a “great loss of control,” Ott said.

Children can also decide how they want to be placed during the shot, such as sitting on the parent’s lap, holding the caregiver’s hand, or hugging.

Experts emphasize that these choices should be realistic. For example, completely refusing vaccination is not an option.

3. Don’t lie. This can undermine trust between parents and their children. Experts advise avoiding statements such as “not vaccinated today” or “not vaccinated at all”.

“We always talk about making sure our children are honest,” Ott said.

4. Apply a paralytic agent to the injection site. Local anesthetics such as lidocaine cream and cold spray can be applied to the skin at the injection site prior to injection to relieve pain, said Dr. Diana Bottari, a pain expert at Advocate Aurora Health. rice field. She says hemorrhoid cream also helps paralyze the area.

However, Bottari added that the decision to use paralytic agents can depend on the child’s tastes. For example, some children may dislike the feeling of cold from a spray.

5. Use a device that minimizes pain. There is a Shot Blocker. This is a small plastic disc with a thorny ridge on one side that is pressed against the skin during a shot, confusing the nerves of the body and interfering with the injection.

Bottari added that scratching the skin near the injection site (like a child’s shoulder) could have a similar effect.

There is also a buggy vibration cold pack, a device shaped like a ladybugs or bee that uses low temperatures and vibrations to reduce pain during vaccination.

6. Verify your child’s feelings. Avoid saying “it’s just a shot” or telling your child not to cry.

Medical experts say that nervousness is a natural response to needles and injections, and adults can experience vaccination discomfort.

Beccamitos, a Certified Child Life Specialist at Anne & Robert H. Lully Children’s Hospital in Chicago, said: “It’s okay to cry. It’s communication. It’s okay to share your feelings.”

During the injection, she reaffirmed that you were there for your child and you would get over it together.

“It’s important for children of all ages to make it clear that they don’t have to experience it alone,” Mitos said.

Ott added that it would also be helpful to praise the child later in a statement such as “You did it” or “I am very proud of you doing it.”

“The last word of praise is huge,” she said.

7. Adults need to be calm and act. Shots can also strain parents and guardians. Otto encouraged adults to reduce their anxiety, as it can exacerbate children’s emotions.

“Many children find their parents anxious,” she said. “We encourage parents to be as calm as possible and feel really supportive of their children.”

8. Vaccination at the beginning of your visit may help. If the shot is part of a longer appointment with the health care provider, asking the clinician to vaccinate first can minimize the buildup of anxiety during the visit, Bottari said. Said.

9. Blow bubbles. Slow and deep breathing can be calming, as opposed to shallow, fast breathing, which is often stimulated by anxiety. Bottari suggested bringing a foam solution to the appointment and letting the child blow foam during the injection to facilitate deep breathing and other distractions.

10. For babies, breastfeed during vaccination. Research into COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of 5 is still underway and small children are not expected to qualify in the near future, but babies will be vaccinated at birth and at certain milestones. Infants over 6 months old should be infected with the flu every year. Shot, according to the CDC.

Bottari recommends feeding or feeding the baby before and during vaccination. When the baby sucks, she says their bodies release soothing endorphins that relieve pain. Another strategy is to give your baby a pacifier soaked in sugar water. This is a mixture of 1 teaspoon of white sugar and 2 teaspoons of distilled water.

She added that babies and children should be embraced in a comforting way, but never suppressed or overwhelmed. Minimizing pain and anxiety during infant vaccination, according to Bottari, can be important in preparing for future encounters with needles and injections.

“It’s really important to start when they are babies, because that needle phobia begins when they are very young,” she said.

11. Treatment may be helpful for children with acrophobia. Most children, and even many adults, dislike firing and experience increased anxiety during immunity.

However, some people suffer from needle phobia, a persistent and deep-seated fear of medical procedures that involve needles and injections that go beyond typical anxiety. In these cases, according to the American Psychological Association, psychologists provide exposure therapy to help patients overcome fear through needles, injections, and progressively difficult exposure to other situations that induce phobia. increase.

12. Prepare for potential side effects later. After COVID-19 vaccination, some patients have reported injection site pain, short-term malaise, fever, chills and other side effects.

Mitsos encourages parents and children to plan ahead for these possible side effects. It may mean asking children if they prefer to add heat or cold to their arm pain, or what movie or book they want if they feel a little sick in the aftermath. Hmm. She said it would also be helpful to pre-pack activities such as stuffed animals and books.

“If you’re aware of what’s unpleasant, there’s research on how to reduce the perceived discomfort if you’re ready,” she said. “Preparing for pain and discomfort greatly reduces the perception of pain and discomfort.”

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