Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA experts have offered certain tips to minimize the pain associated with the needlestick, reducing cry or scream that kids do when they are about to get an injection.
"The good news is that there are several techniques that parents can use to positively impact their child's experience when getting a needlestick-whether it's a flu shot, a childhood vaccine, or blood work," said Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer, director of the Pediatric Pain Program at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA.
"The key is to be creative and use the right combination of tactics depending on your child's age, the particular procedure being done and the child's fear level," Zeltzer added.
Parents of young children can bring soap bubbles and ask them to blow bubbles during the injections, suggesting they are "blowing away the hurt."
With a crying infant, if the parent places the plastic bubble maker in front of their mouth, as they cry out, they will make bubbles.
"I have seen babies stop crying mid-cry because they were distracted by the bubbles," said Zeltzer.
For older children and adolescents getting the shots, but parents can help the child to breathe out slowly to relieve the pain.
Parents can ask their kids to use their imagination and experience being somewhere else really fun during the injections, such as at the park or at the beach.
Other distraction ideas include jokes, video games, stories and music.
Experts have also advised parents to ask doctor for a prescription for a numbing cream or patch and put on the areas to be injected.
If the doctor approves, parents can give the child a dose of pain reliever, such as Tylenol, about one hour before the injection.
After returning home, put an ice bag on the injection site to reduce local swelling and pain.
"Finally, do not lie to your child about getting an injection, said Zeltzer.
"No one likes to get poked with a needle, but if you reassure your child that there are ways to make the hurt go away, then you can help them achieve a successful, less painful experience," Zeltzer added.