How to Prepare for Vaccines

To prepare your child for clinic day, it is important that your child is well fed.  This reduces the chance of your child feeling faint or sick after the needle.

On the day of the clinic:

  • Make sure your child eats breakfast.
  • Pack your child a healthy lunch.
  • Make sure your child wears a short sleeve shirt.
  • Talk to your child about the vaccine. Explain what it is for and how it helps.

It is normal for your child to be nervous about getting a needle. Talk to your child about how to deal with anxiety and pain from the needle. 

Suggest your child:

  • Look away from the needle
  • Count to ten
  • Take slow, deep breaths in and out
  • Read a book
  • Talk to the nurse

If the school allows, your child may also:

  • Chew gum
  • Listen to music
  • Watch a video

You can use a numbing product on your child’s upper arm. These are available at your local pharmacy. Read and follow the directions carefully. Your child’s needle will be given in the upper arm, about two finger widths below the shoulder.

After the needle

Talk to your child about what their arm will feel like after the needle. Their arm might be red and sore at the spot where they get the needle. Tell them to move their arm throughout the day so that the vaccine does not stay in one spot and cause pain.