What Can You Do to Get Your Kids Through Their Flu Shot?

December 3rd, 2018

Children often dread getting vaccines because they are afraid of needles and worry about how much it will hurt. But it is important for kids to get a flu shot every year. The pinch of the shot isn’t nearly as bad as getting sick with the flu!

A rescue helicopter lands at JPS


We asked JPS nurse Allison Langston, RN, for a tip on how parents can help make flu shots a little easier on children.

What can parents do to reduce kids’ anxiety about the flu shot?

For younger children and infants:

  • Use distraction and comfort items such as a favorite blanket, toy or stuffed animal.

For older children:

  • Be honest.  Before the shot, talk about how the flu vaccine is helpful and that they are getting the injection to keep them healthy.
  • Be matter of fact if they ask if the shot will hurt. Tell them it may pinch but it will be over quickly.
  • During the shot, parents can give the child a bear hug. This can provide a sense of security and calm.
  • After the injection, make sure that the child moves and uses his arm. That’s because even though the arm might be sore, moving, stretching and reaching throughout the day helps work the vaccine into the muscle more quickly.

Click here for more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What should parents be on the lookout for after the shot?

It is normal to have a small fever or knot in the area where the shot is given. The area can be tender, sore or redness.

Seek medical attention for tiredness, weakness and tingling and difficulty breathing.

Flu Shots at JPS:

The flu vaccine is recommended every year for adults and children 6 months and older to reduce the risk of developing flu-related illness.

You can receive your flu vaccine during special walk-in hours at JPS Medical Homes throughout Tarrant County. You can also get a flu shot during a medical appointment at a JPS clinic or school-based health center, and at appointments with a clinical pharmacist. For those without insurance or who wish to pay out-of-pocket, the cost is $25.

Walk-In Flu Shot Clinics: 3 – 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday at JPS Medical Homes.

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