Busting the Vaccination Myths
Before taking a child’s scheduled vaccination, it is important to talk to parents about the need for vaccination in children. Every parent wants to do what is best for their child, so the more information they have the more comfortable they will be with their decision. It is important that the parents help the kids to feel comfortable with getting vaccinated. If the parent is anxious, the child can often pick up on this energy. Being honest with the child is necessary and he should know the fact that he is getting needled. Making it part of the normal day would help the child to feel at ease with the process.
A pharmacy professor Anna Taddio, University of Toronto, has developed a CARD system to reduce pain and fear of needles among kids. CARD (Comfort, Ask, Relaxation, and Distract) is an evidence-based system that invites students to choose a coping strategy to improve the vaccination experience (such as playing with their phones to distract them from getting a shot.) Parents and practitioners can also utilize the CARD system. They can help the child to feel comfortable by making them sit on their lap or lie down to show comfort, distract and manage pain in children.
A parent’s hesitancy around vaccinations can be the result of a variety of things including their own experiences with vaccinations, mistrust of the healthcare system as a whole, or misinformation they have gleaned from the internet. Providers can often alleviate hesitancy by providing trusted information and online resources. Parents also need to be aware of the social and psychological aspects of the pandemic on children. The faster they get as many people protected from this virus, the sooner they can get back to normal life for both parents and children. We know that children have been impacted by the change in routine, social isolation, disruption to school and extracurricular activities and the stressful impact COVID has had on their parents, family, and friends. Part of the vaccination process is to assist in making the child’s environment stable again for their well-being.