Even though kids have to see the doctor at least once a year for vaccinations, the process isn't something they typically get used to. So if you're like most parents, you likely have to deal with arguments and tantrums when it's time for vaccines. After all, it can be scary to sit in a bare white room and be poked with a syringe by someone who's virtually a stranger. The good news is that there are a few things you can to do make the vaccination experience a bit less stressful and a little more comfortable as time goes on – you'll face less protesting and your little one will develop healthy healthcare habits that they'll use for a lifetime. Consider implementing one or more of the following tips and tricks:
Focus on Some Fun
Make a point to leave the house early on vaccination day so you and your child can spend some quality time together having fun before arriving at the doctor's office. You can go to a movie, have a picnic in the park, or swim at the public pool to release stress and improve your little one's frame of mind overall, which is likely to last throughout the vaccination process at the pediatrician's office.
To ensure that you are not met with protesting when it's time to leave the fun and head to the doctor's office, consider using a countdown system about a half an hour before you have to drive to your vaccination appointment. Provide them with a reminder every five minutes during the last half an hour of your adventure and make sure that you can spend the last five minutes of your time focused on preparing to depart. This technique should give your little one a sense of control over the vaccination situation and ensure that they don't end up feeling vulnerable throughout the process.
Offer an Enticing Reward
After the vaccinations have been administered to your little one and you've departed from the doctor's office, give them an enticing reward for their cooperation and bravery. The reward should be fun but also reinforce the importance of vaccinations so they'll be more likely to cooperate with the process in the future.
Consider offering a new storybook geared toward kids that feature characters displaying the importance of vaccinations or a toy doctor kit that includes syringe accessories for the simulated self-administration of vaccines at home. The goal is to make your little one feel good about being brave and accepting the need for vaccinations when you visit the doctor.
Keep Communication Lines Open
It is also crucial to make sure that communication lines about vaccinations between you and your child are left wide open. You should talk about vaccinations periodically throughout the year so the idea isn't pushed to the back of their minds and you don't end up having to go through the process of acclimating them every time vaccinations appointments come around.
By speaking with your little one about the importance of various healthcare options such as vaccinations, they are sure to keep interest in the topic throughout their life. When health considerations are at the top of your child's mind, they will probably be more open to the idea of getting vaccinations and checkups as time goes on, which is something that will make your job easier on the healthcare front.
Whether you choose to implement one or all of these tips and tricks, it's important to make sure that you use them consistently to ensure optimal results. Talk to your child's pediatrician to gain insight into more methods and techniques that can be used to make vaccination time more of an inspiration than a chore. For additional information, you can find out more here.