At this point, we have overwhelming amounts of evidence affirming that the COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective. There is no more effective step that we can take to protect ourselves than becoming vaccinated. Every new eligible person who is vaccinated will put us one step closer to ending the pandemic and making schools and communities safe again. Many people are eager to receive this added layer of protection. However, some children may find themselves experiencing significant anxiety about getting the vaccines.
Helping Children Prepare For The Vaccine
Anyone may become nervous before getting a shot, regardless of age. For some, it’s a fear of potential pain, and others simply have a strong aversion to needles. Anything that can helps ease these concerns and make it easier to get the vaccine is important. This is particularly vital important when small children are involved. Simply pushing through the experience without addressing their fear can cause a phobia that can last a lifetime. It just requires is a few moments of preparation to make the whole process easier for them:
- Start A Conversation: Most kids have heard a significant amount about vaccines, both true and mere rumors. Speak to your child about what they’ve heard, and how they feel about receiving the vaccine. Be certain that you listen respectfully to any concerns they express and help address any misunderstandings to help ease their concerns.
- Be Honest: Anytime a new experience comes up, it can create a significant amount of anxiety in children. This is especially true if they have reason to believe it may be uncomfortable or painful. Walking them through what to expect during the vaccination process is important. This includes who they’ll see, what they may be asked to do, and how it will potentially feel.
- Make A Plan: Engaging them with the process is important, so it can help to involve them in the planning process. Ask them which arm they’d like to get the vaccine in, if they want to watch as the injection is done, if there’s a toy they’d like to bring, etc. You may even want to provide a special outfit that will help them feel comfortable. Involving them in these decisions will empower them, and help them feel involved, and less as if this is something being done TO them.
- Focus On The Benefits: Be certain to remind your child that this vaccine will help protect them, their family, their friends, and others. Receiving this vaccine helps ensure that they can safely return to the things they’ve been missing since the pandemic started.
- Celebrate: Be certain to praise your child following the appointment, regardless of how it went. Getting their vaccine is a huge step and one that deserves laud and recognition.
These Tips Are Effective In Many Places
These steps are great tools when addressing other situations that cause your child anxiety. It’s important that your child know that they have a say in what’s happening to them. They also deserve to know what to expect so that they can face their world with their eyes wide open.