No kid likes immunizations. Here’s a distraction technique that works for some children. The idea is to have the child cough just as the needle goes in.

In this small, randomized study, 68 children four-to-five or 11-to-13 years old were told to do a “warm-up” cough of moderate force. This was followed by a second cough at the same time as the injection. The younger children self-reported their level of injection pain. The older children and all the nurses who did the injections used a pain-level questionnaire.

This method seemed to work for Hispanic and non-Hispanic white children, but not for black children. The authors had no idea why it works on certain children and not on others.

This simple trick is worth trying on all children and can be an effective strategy to lessen the pain of injections.

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From issue: 26/11-12