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How do you get over a fear of needles?

+1 vote
My 6 year old child has an extreme fear of needles, and she refuses to get blood drawn and refuses shots. The only way the doctor and nurse can take blood or give a shot is through restraining her, while she screams to the top of her lungs, leaving the doctor's office in an uproar. My child has no other tantrums in any other settings. How do I help her get over this fear of needles?
asked Aug 23, 2015 in Phobias by anonymous

1 Answer

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Best answer
The fear of needles, or needle phobia, can be quite a barrier to getting blood work done and getting shots for immunizations. For children, it is important to educate and familiarize them with what happens at the doctor's office and the hospital, and to give the positive message that the doctor and nurse are there to help your child be healthy, and that doctor's offices and hospitals are places where people go to get better when they are sick. Role playing what happens at the doctor's office, and pretending to be the doctor and patient- you and your child take turns who is going to be the patient, and who is going to be the doctor. What this does is that it exposes your child to the fear of needles, so the more you educate and talk about what happens at the doctor's office, the more exposed your child will be, and the actual doctor visit will be less scary as the child is able to familiarize themselves with the process. People are generally less afraid of things they are familiar with.

Another important technique for the fear of needles is to apply a topical anesthetic, such as EMLA topical cream, to numb the area so that any pain from the injection is minimized. You can apply it one hour before the injection, but make sure to ask the doctor or nurse on how to apply it, and where to apply it. You can educate your child on the EMLA topical cream, as this can reduce the pain the injection may produce.
answered Aug 26, 2015 by drcarlo (294,430 points)
selected Sep 20, 2015 by drcarlo