The COVID-19 vaccine is approved for children aged 6 months and older in Canada. Many parents may be wondering how to talk to their child about the vaccine, as well as how to help children who may be fearful or anxious about getting needles. Luckily, there are many evidence-based strategies to help manage needle pain and fear children may experience.
Talking to your child about the COVID-19 Vaccine:
- A good place to start is to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine for children. Check out this information from the BCCDC. This resource includes information by age group, a handout for parents, and frequently asked questions that may help you answer common questions your child might have, like how vaccines work.
Helping Children who may be fearful or anxious about getting needles:
- Check out these tips from Immunize BC on having a more positive vaccination experience:
- For parents and caregivers of a younger child: immunizebc.ca/preparing-positive-experience
- For parents and caregivers of an older child or youth: https://immunizebc.ca/reducing-pain-and-anxiety-vaccinations-school-age-children-and-teens
- Use this BellyBreathr App with your child if they have anxiety about getting a needle. This app was developed with clinicians from BC Children's Hospital.
- Listen to this podcast episode by Pandemic Parenting, which covers the following questions:
- How can we best prepare our children for receiving vaccines?
- What should I do if I or my child is afraid of needles?
- What strategies can we use to reduce the pain from shots?
- How do parents’ emotions and anxieties about needles impact their children?
- Watch this 2 minute video for tips and strategies for reducing distress and fear in young children getting a needle: It Doesn’t Have to Hurt
- Print this colouring page about a COVID-19 vaccine superhero!