Make vaccination a pain-free experience for your baby

If you are a parent, you certainly hate the vaccination as much as your baby hates the pain and discomfort she has to endure after it. But this does not mean you need to skip them. We tell you ways in which you can comfort your baby after the injection shot.

Do you have a hard time seeing your baby getting pricked by the needle? Well then, you are not alone. A study conducted by Wolters Kluwer Health, a global healthcare information service provider, found emerging evidence of medical care being affected by needle fear in both parents and children. But there is no way one can write off vaccines, right? After all, they shield your little one against deadly diseases like chicken pox, polio, tuberculosis and hepatitis B among others. So skipping, or even delaying vaccines for that matter, is not an option. However, you can soothe and comfort your child post a painful shot and also take steps in advance to reduce the pain sensation. We tell you how.

Give your baby some sugar water:

A study published in the British Medical Group journal Archives of Disease in Childhood shows that infants up to 1 year of age cry less and feel less pain when they drink a sweet-tasting sugary solution before receiving a vaccination shot. Sugar water is known to bring down the pain that a vaccination needle can cause babies to feel. Consider giving your baby some sugar water before the vaccination or let her suck on a pacifier dipped in the sweet solution.

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If available, opt for combination vaccination plans:

To reduce the number of pricks, you can choose a single shot that immunises your child for several diseases. This is a great way to reduce the pain and discomfort your baby has to go through. Vaccinations such as Tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, are available in combination with polio and hepatitis B or polio and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) vaccines.

Hold your baby close:

Stay close to your baby to keep her calm and distracted during the injection. Hold her in a way that her upper arm or thigh is exposed for the injection to be given easily. Keep your baby properly clothed so that it takes less time to leave post the injection.

Distract your baby:

Distracting your baby during the injection can help to reduce the pain. You can bring along her toy, or an item that can distract her, a noisemaker or sing to her, etc. as these simple things can keep her mind off the sensation of pain.

Breastfeed your baby:

Post the injection your baby may not be interested in eating or drinking anything. Breastfeeding your little one can help keep her dehydration and hunger in check while helping in pain alleviation during the injection.

Apply ice to soothe the pain:

Use an ice pack to soothe the injected area and reduce pain and inflammation. Do not apply the ice directly for it can further aggravate pain and discomfort. Instead, first rub some ice on your hand and then place it on your baby s affected area. Once you feel that he has become comfortable to the cold sensation, wrap a cube in a fresh cloth and apply it twice or thrice a day.

Paracetamol drops:

Give your baby paracetamol drops shortly after the injection to lessen the post-vaccination pain, irritation, and discomfort. Consult your doctor before giving the drops and make sure you do not exceed the prescribed medications dose.

Don t force your baby to walk or move:

Considering most of the vaccination shots are given on the thigh, forcing your baby to move after the injection can cause her further pain and discomfort. Comfort her by placing her on your thigh and gently pat her on her back. Consider seeking medical help if your baby is unable to walk normally 2,3 days post the vaccination shot.

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