Vaccination pain management for children: Guidance for health care providers

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Overview

Vaccination begins in infancy and plays an important role in keeping children healthy. Early experiences can influence how caregivers and children will respond to vaccination later on.

You can help make vaccinations a more positive experience by minimizing pain during vaccine injections. This can improve a child's comfort and experience. It can also help to build trust with caregivers and children and increase the likelihood of future vaccine acceptance.

There are a number of ways to make vaccine injections more comfortable for children and their caregivers.

Children under 3 years

Children 3 to 17 years

Children of all ages

Ensuring that information about these strategies is shared using accessible plain language and communicating in a culturally safe manner, can help both children and caregivers have a positive experience with vaccination.

If a child has a high level of needle fear, consider referral to a mental health expert such as a psychologist. Treating needle fear can help children and caregivers accept vaccination and other needle procedures.

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