Getting Your Flu Shot – A Step-By-Step Guide for Parents and Kids
The prospect of getting a shot can make kids (and parents!) a little nervous. But protection from the flu is worth it.
Here are some steps to help prepare and comfort your child when it is time for a flu shot.
Before the flu shot:
- Pack a favorite toy or blanket to comfort your child.
- Relax as your child can sense your feelings.
- For older children, calmly tell them that shots can pinch or sting, but won’t hurt for long. Let them listen to their favorite song.
During the flu shot:
- Touch child soothingly and talk softly.
- Make eye contact with your child and smile.
- Hold child on your lap and show them a toy.
- For older children, tell or read a favorite story, or have them look at a poster or item in the room.
After the flu shot:
- Hold or cuddle your child.
- Ask your doctor for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever when you get home.
- For older children, give praise and support, and let them pick a special activity for later in the day.
- Review vaccine information statements.
- Use a cool, wet cloth to reduce any redness, soreness, and/or swelling where the shot was given.
- Watch your child for the next few days. If your child has any reaction that concerns you, call your doctor or seek medical attention.
In addition to getting the flu shot, there are other ways you can protect your children and yourself from the flu, including:
- Avoid people who are sick with the flu.
- Stay home when sick.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Try not to touch eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Most doctors’ offices and pharmacies have the flu shot available now. Talk to your doctor today if you have any questions and to find out which flu shot is right for you.