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Daughter Terrified of Pain and Is Due for Her 5 Year Old Immunizations

Hi. My tender five year old daughter gets very worried about pain. When she had a sliver last week, she had a complete panic attack/meltdown when anticipating us pulling the sliver out with tweezers. (Including hyperventilating and eyes-rolling and nearly fainting. We never had a chance to get near that sliver.) And we did the whole calm voice, gentle distractions, giving her choices, etc. She's such a sweet, sensitive kid who can put up a huge fuss when she's worried.

So the big problem lies in that she needs to get her 5 year old immunization shots. She doesn't know about it yet and I'm trying to think about the best approach to this. Is there any danger in just holding off on them for a year, especially when other immunization doses have been done on schedule? Would waiting be a problem for school records? Is there an oral way of doing immunizations?

I don't think the usual bribe or reward system is going to work for her, but I'd be thrilled to hear any ideas.


What can I do next?

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I would just get her the shots, but not tell her till she is there, and I would get the numbing cream. But, also, I would talk to her doctor about these panic attacks, about what could have triggered them and how to help her cope. Panic attacks can difficult for adults, I can't imagine how out of control a 5 year old would feel!

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E., in washington you can not be forced into giving your child vaccines, ther IS a waiver on teh back of the form that you can sign. any parent at any time can chhose to not vaccinate. i myself am a very educated selective delayed vaccinator simply because i do not want to put those chemicals into my childrens developing body. what does selective delayed mean, well i choose what i want them to have and when based on tere personal development and what i feel is safe. the vaccine book by dr sears is wonderfull as far as resources it even gives you the ingredients and after you read them you might never want to vax again! there is NO harm in delaying (IMO & many other parents to) you can also view info from the vaccine book at www.thevaccinebook.com

even is a mom chooses to vaccinate she should have ALL the info before doing it. even my dr chooses to not vaccinate his children but still offers and pushes it for his patients (it all comes down to the $$)

I know it is a hard choice but go with your mom instinct.

2 moms found this helpful

Hello E.,

Well I understand your trepidation about your daughter getting her shots. That is perfectly normal on your part to be concerned about her being scared.

I think that it would be a bad idea to wait for her shots simply because if you do, then if she is going to be behind on them and of course have to make them up later on (which I think is even harder on kids) My niece got behind on her shots because the doctor that she was seeing kept saying that my neice had a fever. She just has a normally higher temperature and so she was about a year behind and the new doctor had to make them up.

Also if she is going to be starting school or is in school she has to be up to date on them. Some schools will even keep children out of school until they have all of their shots up to date..

When it is my kids turn to get their shots, I dont say anything about it... I just tell them that they have a Dr apt and that way when it is time, they arent so worked up about it. They are worry warts too and just the knowledge of having to get their shots is enough to cause some anxiety and get them upset..

I think that it would be easier on your daugther as well as yourself to just go to the apointment and when the time comes then deal with it, but not before hand. It isnt neccessary to get her upset about it before the fact because that isnt good for her mentally or emotionally!

Another suggestion that I have which sounds a little funny:
I am a Pure Romance Consultant and we have a product that is called Booty Ease, it has 10% Benzocane in it which is whats in orogel but that has 1% Benzocane. This product is multipurpose, apply to eye brows before plucking, apply in mouth for a tooth ache, and so on.. This would numb the area of the shots/slivers/etc. If you are interested here is my website: www.skyvilliard.pureromance.com, you can also email me at ____@____.com for any questions or comments!

Good Luck! S.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.,

First of all, we don't vaccinate (various reasons--it is each parent's decision to do what is right for their children in all sorts of areas of child-rearing), so I'm not much help there. However, I did read a few of the responses that are inaccurate. In the state of Washington you do NOT have to be up to date on vaccinations nor are you required to vaccinate your children in order for them to be accepted into school. The immunization form you fill out for school entrance has a waiver on the back side. You have a right to waive your children's immunizations (any or all) based on religious or personal beliefs. The link to this document is here: http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/Immunize/documents/Cis06.pdf

That being said, if you think your daughter needs a little more time to cope with it, just hold off until you are comfortable. Every child is different. You are the parent and you know what your children need--you have the right to do what is best for them. Your pediatrician might also have some suggestions, so definitely call and get his/her insight. I'm sure your daughter is not the first to have a mighty fear of pain. Who likes getting poked with needles? I sure don't!

God bless and best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

I just took my son for his immunizations and physically held him while they gave him the injections. I didn't tell him about it beforehand because there was NO way he was going to be okay with it. And all he would do would be stressed and upset and fight going to the doctor.

He was NOT happy during the injections. He cried and struggled. And I was a little teary eyed (where he couldn't see me), too. But bim bam boom, they were done within 60 seconds. I had to carry him out to the van and he stopped crying while we were in drive-thru at McDonalds.

He protected the band aids on his arms ALL weekend so he could rush in to show his preschool teacher that he'd gotten "twenty" shots. But other than that, he got over it really quickly.

1 mom found this helpful

you may want to go to a homeopathic doctor, there are remedies that are specific for fears. i am waiting until my daughter is 9 years old before even contemplating immunizations, but that is just me (i am a registered nurse and nurse practitioner). keep in mind that up until the age of 7 or 8, kids take everything literally. best of luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful


I have a different opinion than a lot of the others. I think fear is usually of the unknown and anxiety makes it worse and kids really pick up on our unease- if you are worried about the shots, then she will think it is really bad. What your daughter needs to know is that you have confidence in her ability to get through it. Help her prepare...I suggest getting a doctor kit. Explain all that doctors do, including giving shots. Let her practice giving shots to you (wipe with cotton ball, poke, band aid). You say "ouch, that hurt". Then, let her comfort you (band aid and big hug) and you say that her comforting helped. Tell her that it will hurt, but she is really brave and you know that she will be OK. There are several kids books too, that discuss shots (Curious George Goes to the Hospital and Bernstein Bears has one too). When you get to the doctors office, or even on the way, reinforce that she will be getting a shot today and it will hurt, but you know that she is such a brave big girl that she will be OK. You could also say that once you're done at the doctor you will get a special treat. Stay calm and relaxed about it and she will too. People feel more pain if they are stressed. If they can stay calm it will hurt less. You can tell her that too!

A surprise attack causes more stress and will teach them that you never know what could happen when you go to the doctors' office. I think they should feel secure in knowing that you will help them handle what is going to happen.

A little about me... I had several ear and gum surgeries as a child and allergy shots starting at the age of 5. My mother used the above tactics to get me through whatever I had to endure. Now, I use the same types of strategies to help me handle having cavities filled without novicane. I also have a two year old who has handled getting shots well (so far!).

1 mom found this helpful

Ugh! My five year old son just had those done. He's usually very brave, but he was a mess for those five shots! You may want to call her pediatrician and ask for some advice (and perhaps a sedative? ... for mom!). Another idea to consider is having someone else she trusts bring her. My kids often aren't as emotional with my husband.

I'm not sure that you should tell your daughter in advance. Maybe making it matter of fact just before it happens and getting through it as quickly as possible might be a better way to go. Acknowledge her feelings afterwards and give her plently of sympathy and kudos. Sometimes it just helps to get ourselves in the right frame of mind and preparing ourselves with extra patience goes a long way. Best wishes ...

I have a 5 year old son...not quite as terrified of pain as your daughter but when I tell him we have to go to the doctor he will start crying that day even though the appointment isn't for another week! LOL!! As far as school goes..yes you do have to have their shots all up to date in order for them to begin school. They won't let them start without it being done. As far as the actual appointment goes the only advice I can give is what I do for my son, which is kind of a roll play. When I tell him he has to go get his shots we walk through the steps that will happen at the doctors office. I tell him she will wipe the spot on his arm then I squeeze his arm like they do and tell him to take a deep breath and let it out and when he lets it out I pinch his arm with my finger obviously not too hard. But it makes him feel so much better and braver that he knows exactly what will happen. When we are in the office the day of the appointment as the doctor is getting ready I tell him "see it's just like we talked about" "now she's going to clean your arm" and so on. I also hold him stradling me so he can rest his head on my shoulder and that way I can hold him around his arms in case he does jump or something. We have done this for the last two years and it has worked really well!! Maybe it might work for you! Good luck

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