Kids aged 5-11 are now eligible for vaccination against COVID-19. Whilst many kids are excited to be vaccinated at last, for others the idea of a jab is a bit daunting. It may have been a while since your child had an immunisation, or they may have had an experience in the past that was a bit tricky. The good news is some preparation will really help both kids and their support people. Talking about the immunisation in a practical and positive way is really important as is validating kids feelings and worries. It is important that supporting adults also recognise if they are themselves feeling anxious, and to think about who is the best adult to accompany your child when it is time for the jab.
We all feel calmer when we are in control of our surroundings. Talk beforehand about the elements of the process that kids can control and work out a plan of action.
- Who would they like to accompany them to their appointment?
- Which arm would they like to have the jab?
- What do they want to wear? (Superhero outfits are popular amongst the younger crowd!)
- Would they like to take a special toy?
- Would they like to watch a special video, or video call a friend during the jab?
- What will you do to celebrate afterwards?
Ask your kids what they think might help them with their immunisation-their creative ideas might surprise you!
These resources are here to help:
This site takes parents and kids through creating a personalised Poke Plan, identifying helpful strategies for distraction and comfort and creating a written plan to use for vaccination time.
- “Brains On” Podcast – 10th November 2021
For kids who want to know more about how the vaccine works (plus a great quiz to listen to while you’re waiting, and audio of a kid having their vaccine)
- RCH Be Positive procedural video of vaccination (in this case a flu shot)
- The Amaze website has step by step social stories about getting Covid Vaccines in different settings
RCH Kids Health Info Podcast
Series 3 Episode 6 (28 October 2021) Fear of Needles – what helps?