Multiple times during a shift, healthcare professionals may hear a child ask, “Am I going to get a shot?” Fear and anxiety surrounding needles is common for children and adolescents. According to the Center for Disease and Prevention, “2 in 3 children have extreme fear over needles” (source).  At Standish Foundation (SF4C) we know this anxiety and fear can traumatize a child or adolescent throughout their entire medical journey, and beyond. By taking time to talk to a child or adolescent and prepare them for their experience, healthcare professionals give a child the ability to not only understand their medical care, but also gain a sense of control over what is happening to their body. When preparing children and adolescents for needle related medical procedures, the most important things to remember are to tell the truth about the reason for the procedure, describe what it will feel like, and offer support and ways to cope. 

Our online program, Tame the Pain and Fear™  was created to support healthcare professionals in turning needle-related fear into a more positive, less traumatizing event. Through research and direct experience working with children, SF4C has set out to make needle related medical procedures a more collaborative, less stressful experience for all involved by implementing the tools highlighted in our Tame the Pain and Fear program. 

Tame the Pain and Fear highlights the importance of psychosocial interventions including comfort positions with caregivers, distraction techniques, pharmacological techniques and procedural preparation. Through Tame the Pain and Fear,™more members of the psychosocial care team can learn and understand the importance of having this type of preparation for children, adolescents and families. Tame the Pain and Fear involves a procedure support tool. This tool allows psychosocial care specialists and families the opportunity to work together during needle related medical procedures. By giving children and adolescents the space to express their feelings, acknowledge their fear and choose methods of coping and distraction, we as global health care team members are giving them the ability to make needle related medical procedures more successful. We believe that all children can tame their pain and fear of needles when given the support to do so. For more information, watch our social media pages this month! 

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