31 answers

Getting Shots-what Age Do They Stop Screaming and Flailing?

My 5 year old just had 4 shots last week. I told her about them ahead of time thinking it would help but as soon as the nurses walked in she started screaming and flailing and the nurses made me hold her top half down really hard, while they held down her legs. It was completely awful and I always cry afterward once my daughter is out of eyesight. I asked her dad to take her next year because i can't stand doing it anymore. Maybe she will act better in front of him? Do you have any tips or suggestions to make it go smoother? Do you tell them they are getting shots ahead of time or right when they do it? What age does it get better?

When it was all over my daughter said she hates those kind of doctors and is allergic to them. She also said her legs hurt really bad where they were holding her down. There has got to be a better way!

What can I do next?

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Hi J.! I had to laugh at Amy's response. She's right! I was one of those adults who cried and shook while getting shots. Now I am much more dignified- I simply sweat and pass out. Ha-ha! Seriously, she may never get over it.
For two weeks now I have had to give my 19 month old daughter injections 4-6 times daily. She was diagnosed with diabetes. I don't know if I will ever get over the stress of having to poke her with a needle. She cries and cries every time. Like you, I wish there was an easier way.
Good luck to you!

Same experience about a month ago...I used to think there was nothing worse than watching a newborn get shots - as hard as that is, it isn't any easier with a five year old.

My baby girl is the same way but she is an infant right now. Wondering if this will get worse as time goes on. Interested to know what you find out.

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I have one word for you - BRIBERY!!! We used to have a horrible time with our daughter (now 13) with shots and needles - and as she has chronic and severe medical problems, there are more needles in her life than in any twenty "healthy" kids (we are down to an average of two a week now). Here is what we do...for "big" sticks (painful shots, etc.) we would pick out something she really wanted (did not have to be expensive - a book, small toy, special treat) and bring it with us. The deal was that if she behaved and cooperated (She could cry, but no screaming, flailing or fighting.), she could have the reward. If not, it went back to the store. With smaller pokes, like routine blood draws, etc., she earned money - a quarter to a dollar, depending on the poke. She could save the money for a special treat or toy, but if she fought a nurse and kicked or hit or made their job really hard, she had to use some of her saved money for a card or small apology gift. It took a few times, but it has worked fantastically for us. Consistency is key - if she does not behave, you have to follow through and not give the reward or actually have her follow through with the apology, even when it means it upsets her again.

The hardest part as a parent is watching your child in pain, whether from the needle or the panic, but you have to remember that you are being a good parent, and you are doing what is best for them. Better a needle stick and a few tears now than a debilitating or fatal illness later. Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Some kids never outgrow being terrified of shots... I have a 26 year old sister that still refuses needles unless she has absolutely no other option and then she still cries.

Anyway, you could pick and choose which vaccines you feel are neccessary and only get those done. (For this child and any future ones....) I know a lot of people who forgo the chicken pox and flu vaccines as well as a few others. For school, all you have to do is ask them for the form and sign off on the rest. (Nobody likes to tell you that part. I know our school district just threatens that children won't be let in the front door without ALL shots completed. But if you ask for the form then kids with NO shots can go to school......)

So, if you just dig in and do some research (YOU NEED TO FIND SOME BIPARTISIN VIEWS SO YOU CAN MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION. All the info from the docs is one- sided so you will have to look in other places.) you can decide what is best for your family.

check out 909shot.com for some more indepth info


Shots are scarey at any age. My son is 7 and got a booster this summer and cried and scooted out of the office on his bottom because he could no longer walk on that leg. I remember being 10 or 12 and limping out after a shot in my leg. Each person handles it differently- so there is no age to honestly give you. I try not to tell my son that he is going to have a shot before hand- the amount of time he has anxiety is less if nothing else.

Same experience about a month ago...I used to think there was nothing worse than watching a newborn get shots - as hard as that is, it isn't any easier with a five year old.

i don't tell my 5 year old ahead of time. but when the nurse comes in and says it's time for a shot i then bribe my son. i know it's not fair but then as he is getting the shot we are discussing what he wants to do. it helps take his mind off the the shot and it's done before he knows it!!!

My suggestion would be not to tell her that she's going in for shots until right before it happens. If she has time to think about it & build up anticipation about how awful it's going to be, it will just be worse.
Also, she really won't need shots for several years. Maybe by the time she's due for more shots, she'll be over it.

Please don't give her any more shots. I've done some research online, books, etc. on how they are so "important" and I kept finding how they are the cause of so many diseases, outbreaks, deaths, diabetes, asthma, etc. Please check this site out to make your own informed decision if you feel that you need to continue. My baby to be born will not have the shots and I won't either.


around 13 or 14...lol Actually they stop screaming when they learn that it is a prick and doesn't hurt that long. Make sure to give tylonol before hand and don't get nervous yourself, they will pick up on it. If you go out and cry afterwards, they see it as a negitive thing that makes mommy cry and that won't help next time. If you smile when it is done and give them a hug and say "see it wasn't so bad" it will calm them down. It does take a lot of self control and if you don't have it in you, step out of the room while they get the shot. I do that with my granddaughter, I can't take seeing her get a shot even though I went through raising 3 kids having them. My youngest had to be held down until he was around 8. My two oldest were ok by the age of 2 because I handled it in a matter of fact way. We are going to get your imunization shots because they keep you from getting certain sicknesses. It will sting for a moment but it will be over fast. I would tell them to hold my hand and squeeze my hand (not with the arm they are getting the shot so they don't tense up that arm) and I kept attention on me rather then what the nurse was doing. Even though we didn't have the screaming, when my oldest was 4, he hid under the chair at the doctors office and the doctor had to talk him out by telling him he wasn't the one giving the shot.

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