3 ways to manage a fear of needles

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Many can relate

to this. Needles can induce worry, discomfort and in

some, an overwhelming fear. As a registered nurse in Sunnybrook's

Family Practice Unit, Andrea Goncz has pretty much seen every

reaction there is. Usually teenagers

and older children usually have the hardest time.

Goncz administers more than one thousand needles every

year, so knows of some tried and true techniques to help.

Tip one? Focus on something else. People of all ages

need a little distraction from something that is not enjoyable.

For younger children, bring along favorite books. And for older kids, parents can help.

Distraction is one of the best techniques, so if mom or dad is standing

in front chatting with them while you go ahead and quickly do what you need to do

Her next tip? Sugar. The body's natural

response when tasting sugar is endorphin release, so it makes sense that

that would actually diminish the sensation of pain that would

be received by an immunization. Research has found that dipping soothers

into sugar water helps cut down on pain for infants.

Goncz also recommends that mothers breastfeed immediately following immunization.