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How to Help Your Child Overcome Their Fear of Shots

child receiving vaccine from doctor with family beside her

As of this blog post, the FDA is on the brink of approving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. And for the past several months, children over the age of 12 years old have been receiving the vaccine. We all understand the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as other vaccines, in order to safeguard our public health. Nevertheless, if you have a child with a fear of shots, getting them to sit down for a vaccine can be easier said than done.

But don’t give up just yet. By taking the right steps, you can help your child ease their fear of shots and get vaccinated like everyone else!

Educate them about vaccines

The less people know about something, the more they fear it. Kids are no different. If you educate your children about how vaccines work, they’ll be less frightened once the time comes to get one. Keep your explanation simple and emphasize that vaccines are here to protect us, not harm us.

Practice beforehand

Another way to lessen your child’s anxiety is to practice getting a shot beforehand. Purchase a toy medical kit and have one person play the doctor and the other play the patient. You can even use one of your child’s stuffed animals to play the role of the patient.

Be an example

Our children model their behavior off of ours. Even if you’re a little nervous about shots, try to exhibit a sense of calm when it’s time for your child’s appointment. You can also try bringing your child with you when it’s time for you to get a shot yourself. While many adults have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, now is the best time to get your flu shot!

Bring a comfort item

When the big day comes, it’s normal for your child to get a little nervous. To help manage their anxiety, consider having them bring a comfort item with them. This could be their favorite blankie, toy, stuffed animal, etc.

The Zoo Factory has plenty of lovable, stuffed animals that can help ease your child’s anxieties. Look through our website to find their next best friend today!

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How to Teach Your Kids About Vaccines

How to Teach Your Kids About Vaccines

Vaccines can protect our kids from deadly diseases such as measles, mumps, and, of course, COVID-19. Currently, more and more people are receiving their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and before we know it, our kids will be receiving their shots as well.

While we understand the importance of taking the COVID-19 vaccine, our kids may not be. That leaves it up to us, their caregivers, to explain the importance of not only the COVID-19 vaccine, but all other vaccines as well.

Keep it simple

Explaining how vaccines work is a good way to convince your kids of their importance. Nevertheless, you need to keep it simple. If you start talking about mRNA, white cells, and antigens, your kids won’t understand what you’re saying (most adults won’t understand either). Instead, explain how vaccines are like a practice run for your body—they teach the body how to fight against a virus so that they won’t get sick in the future.

Emphasize that the vaccine will help them protect others

Vaccines are never enjoyable to receive, and this can make your child reluctant to receive one. Emphasize that while vaccines may hurt, the little bit of pain is worth it to protect other people (specifically people like their grandparents or other elderly family members). Once again, keep the explanation simple by pointing out that if you don’t get sick, other people won’t get sick.

Use characters and toys

Sometimes kids respond better to vaccines when they see characters, role models, or even their favorite toys take part. For example, you could show them this video of Elmo and the Surgeon General explaining the significance of vaccines. You could also use your child’s toys or stuffed animals to demonstrate how vaccines work (this is the method behind many teddy bear clinics).

Be a role model

Just like characters and toys can be a role model for your kids, so can you. If your kid is nervous about getting the vaccine, take them with you when you go for your own shot. Seeing you get the vaccine will ease their anxieties and help them realize there’s nothing to be afraid of. As you’re receiving your shot, be careful not to flinch or appear scared (even if you are nervous yourself), as it’s important to put on a brave face and show that vaccines are no big deal.

For further parenting tricks and tips, read through our blog today!