Jump to content

Menu

How to help a child with extreme needle anxiety get the Covid shot


Recommended Posts

My kid with cancer has developed a phobia of needles.  Here are some things that have helped a bit.

-Lidocaine numbing cream (slathered on thickly and hour and a half beforehand, then covered with Press n' Seal wrap, so the entire section of arm is well and truly numb)

-Not allowing the nurse to try to reassure/talk him into it beforehand.  This only gives him more time to work himself up.  The "little pinch" phrase is the worst; it's like a signal that the torture is about to begin.

-Not asking it of him to hold still for it.  It's too much to ask, and much easier on him to just hold him down and get it over with as quickly as possible.

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/17/2021 at 4:29 PM, MercyA said:

I'm sorry, @Quarter Note. I love how understanding you are with your daughter. Anxiety is so hard.

Crazy thought: I wonder if there is anywhere they could give her nitrous oxide, if she'd accept that? Maybe at a hospital? Here are some articles about it:

https://www.minnpost.com/mental-health-addiction/2017/05/nitrous-oxide-helps-ease-young-patients-anxiety-during-painful-medic/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29753606/

 

Hi MercyA.  Thank you so much for your kind words (and sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this thread).  It may be a crazy thought, but I'd be willing for her to try the nitrous oxide if it were available!  Thank you for sending along those links!  If we can't get her the shot any other way, I'll see if her pediatrician knows of a place that could do this.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/17/2021 at 4:43 PM, KSera said:

There’s both a mist and a needless injection both in the works. They are expected in 2022. I know other people disagreed, but I still think a drive up without a line might be easiest if she decides she wants to do it. That’s a lot of waiting around that she had to do, which is super unhelpful in that condition. Plus, a car doesn’t allow bolting. If the drive up was prepared for her, it could be drive up, one second injection, and it’s done. Poor girl, though. I’m sure it feels miserable for her. And each bolting reinforces the fear, so really it’s better not to try it again until everyone is 100% committed to making sure it happens.

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply to you, KSera.  You can't know how glad I am to hear that there is a mist in development, though of course we hope she'll get the shot sooner!  I'd love to take her to a drive-through clinic, but the nearest one is at least two hours away.  (We live pretty far from the nearby cities), and I think that the long car ride would only increase her anxiety.  

I really appreciate all of your kind words!  She'll get through this somehow...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/18/2021 at 6:27 AM, Splash1 said:

My son uses  a shot blocker.  He's 15 by the way.

 

s-l1000.jpg

Splash1, this is wonderful!  Thank you for letting me know!  I saw your post when it came in, but I'm only now responding, but we ordered a five-pack of these and they should be here early next week.  My daughter says she just might try this!  Thank you!  I only hope that she'll stay seated in the chair long enough to try...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/21/2021 at 2:41 PM, Condessa said:

My kid with cancer has developed a phobia of needles.  Here are some things that have helped a bit.

-Lidocaine numbing cream (slathered on thickly and hour and a half beforehand, then covered with Press n' Seal wrap, so the entire section of arm is well and truly numb)

-Not allowing the nurse to try to reassure/talk him into it beforehand.  This only gives him more time to work himself up.  The "little pinch" phrase is the worst; it's like a signal that the torture is about to begin.

-Not asking it of him to hold still for it.  It's too much to ask, and much easier on him to just hold him down and get it over with as quickly as possible.

Condessa, thank you so much for sharing your kid's experience.  (I hope he's doing well!  Please let us know!)  I agree with the "just get it over with quick" method.  Whatever we try next, we will try to prepare the person to just do it fast.  She has already said that she will refuse the numbing cream ("as bad as the shot itself") but maybe that is the first thing we can desensitize her too.  I'm afraid, though, that I can't hold her anymore.  She's almost as big as I am!  Thank you so much!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/1/2021 at 5:49 PM, Quarter Note said:

Condessa, thank you so much for sharing your kid's experience.  (I hope he's doing well!  Please let us know!)  I agree with the "just get it over with quick" method.  Whatever we try next, we will try to prepare the person to just do it fast.  She has already said that she will refuse the numbing cream ("as bad as the shot itself") but maybe that is the first thing we can desensitize her too.  I'm afraid, though, that I can't hold her anymore.  She's almost as big as I am!  Thank you so much!

Why does she think a numbing cream is as bad as the shot? It doesn't hurt, no needle, no nothing. I'm confused? You put it on at home, ahead of time. If you got a script for it she could practice - put it on, wait an hour or two, thn tap that spot with her finger. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all of the previous replies.  I wonder if she could get the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine instead of one of the others that require 2 injections?  It is not as effective as Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna, but it does give protection. One of my cousins in California had that vaccine on April 1st.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Lanny said:

I haven't read all of the previous replies.  I wonder if she could get the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine instead of one of the others that require 2 injections?  It is not as effective as Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna, but it does give protection. One of my cousins in California had that vaccine on April 1st.

 

Pfizer is currently the only approved option in the US for children and teens.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/7/2021 at 3:23 AM, Laura Corin said:

Podcast item on overcoming needle phobia specifically for Covid vaccination.  Start at minute 17

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000xlvn

@Quarter Note

@Laura Corin, this is wonderful!  Thank you!  (Please excuse me for taking so long to get back to you.)  We listened to the whole thing so that we could get the lady's whole story.  My daughter was so glad to hear of someone else with needle anxiety as serious as hers.  We're going to implement many of the ideas mentioned.  She's still trying!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/7/2021 at 7:17 AM, ktgrok said:

Why does she think a numbing cream is as bad as the shot? It doesn't hurt, no needle, no nothing. I'm confused? You put it on at home, ahead of time. If you got a script for it she could practice - put it on, wait an hour or two, thn tap that spot with her finger. 

Hi @ktgrok.  Yes, it does seem confusing, doesn't it?  That's the thing, this is a phobia so it is completely irrational.  The longer I walk through this with her, the more that I realize how serious a phobia it is.  It's not about the pain - she normally has a very high tolerance to pain.  It's not about fear of the vaccine itself - she's very pro-vaccine and really wants to get it.  It's The Needle, and she's been like this for years now.  Numbing cream, freezing spray, even Buzzy all represent The Needle to her, and even knowing how irrational it is, she can't talk herself out of the anxiety.  She's working hard on this, though.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Just a quick note to everyone who has helped on this thread:  We're moving along.  We bought the Shot Blocker, and we're trying to do a little bit of visual desensitization every day.  @KSera, I especially wanted to let you know that she's taken the Claire Weekes language to heart, and reminds herself to let the anxiety "float".  

She'll get that vaccine somehow, I'm sure.  Thanks, everyone, for your help!  I'll make sure to update again when there's success!  (And we'll have a huge party for her!)

Edited by Quarter Note
typo
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, Quarter Note said:

.  @KSera, I especially wanted to let you know that she's taken the Claire Weekes language to heart, and reminds herself to let the 

anxiety"float".  

I’m so glad she is finding that helpful. It really is something that can help her for the rest of her life. I’m grateful to whoever it is recommended it to me way back.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Quarter Note said:

@Laura Corin, this is wonderful!  Thank you!  (Please excuse me for taking so long to get back to you.)  We listened to the whole thing so that we could get the lady's whole story.  My daughter was so glad to hear of someone else with needle anxiety as serious as hers.  We're going to implement many of the ideas mentioned.  She's still trying!

I'm glad it was helpful. Tell your daughter from me that I think that persevering despite the difficulties is the highest form of bravery, even if it takes a while.

Edited by Laura Corin
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

I'm glad it was helpful. Tell your daughter from me that I think that persevering despite the difficulties is the highest form of bravery, even if it takes a while.

I will certainly tell her.  Your words will make her day!  Thank you!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...