Please, Baby... Don't Cry

New guidelines for reducing pain of immunization shots for children

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Cries of fear and pain are frequently heard in the halls of pediatric clinics where children are receiving immunization shots.

However, a new clinical guidelines may reduce such pain in addition to quelling the child's anxiety at similar, future procedures.

The guidelines, although recommended by Canadian experts and intended for Canadian health practitioners, is "generalizable to healthy children receiving immunization injections worldwide," writes Dr. Anna Taddio and her coauthors. The recommendations were divided into categories, including infants and neonates, injection procedure process, parent-led strategies, pharmacotherapy, and psychological strategies. According to these categories, the experts proposed different pain-reducing methods such as breastfeeding infants during immunization, using the least painful brand of vaccine, vaccinating rapidly, and the use of topical anesthetics, among other suggestions. It was also recommended that healthcare providers use different methods in conjunction with one another in order to tailor the pain-relieving method to the individual child.

The authors conclude by adding, "What is now needed is a knowledge translation strategy aimed at facilitating the uptake of these recommendations in clinical practice."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 22, 2010
Last Updated:
November 23, 2010