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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!

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