With flu season around the corner, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that FluMist “nasal spray” is not as effective as once thought, Children’s Minnesota encourages anyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu shot to help stop the flu. That’s a lot of kids who might be scared to get a shot. So Children’s asks “What if getting shots didn’t hurt?”
Through years of research and training, the interdisciplinary pain team at Children’s Minnesota has found that it’s possible to take the scary out of needles. That’s why we’ve made a promise to our patients – we call it Children’s Comfort Promise. It means we will do everything possible to prevent and treat pain – not just for flu shots, but for all needle procedures.
Four easy steps
Nobody likes to get shots, but evidence supports that if we follow the four easy steps below, children will have less pain with needle procedures, like immunizations, lab draws or IV starts. The steps work best when used together, but you can choose what works best for your child.
- Numb the skin: Lidocaine cream can be put on the skin before the procedure. Ask your clinician. The cream needs to be put on the skin 30 minutes before the procedure to work.
- Sugar water or breastfeeding (for babies 12 months or younger): You can choose the best option for you and your baby.
- Comfort positioning: We know children do best with parents holding or close by.
- Distraction: A favorite toy, a book or even blowing bubbles can help take a child’s attention away from the shot.
The next time your child needs a shot or other needle procedure, keep Children’s Comfort Promise steps in mind to create a better experience for you and your child, and to help prevent a potentially lifelong fear of needles.
Children’s Comfort Promise, starting with needle procedures, is just one of the ways Children’s Minnesota is advancing pediatric pain management. We are dedicated to keeping kids as pain-free as possible, whether they are at a well-child exam, at the hospital, or experiencing recurrent pain like headaches. Our interdisciplinary pain program is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S., combining drug and integrative (non-drug) therapies to ease pain in babies, children and teens.
Children’s Minnesota earned a prestigious “Center of Excellence in Pediatric Pain Management” designation, which few pain management programs have earned. Children’s also was recently designated as a “Childkind Hospital” by the Childkind International organization, established by the International Association for the Study of Pain to recognize and celebrate institutions that have made extraordinary efforts to provide pain relief to all children in their care. To achieve the Childkind designation, hospitals must demonstrate that pain management is an organizational priority at the highest administrative levels and is a vital element of the institutional culture.
Learn more about Children’s Comfort Promise and Children’s Minnesota pain program.