Archived Q&A and Reviews
My 6-year-old son has a terrible needle phobia. So we are in search of a compassionate pediatrician who would be willing to work with him either behaviorally or with sedatives/anesthesia. Our current pediatrician favors restraining him for shots, which I refuse to do. Any leads would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Sad Mom
Ralph Berberich at the pediatric medical group in Berkeley has done extensive work in preparing children for immunizations with hypnosis. I have worked with him professionally and think highly of him. Medical professional
You should consider Ralph Berberich MD. He is a leader in techniques to help children with shots. I have personally seen him make a tremendous difference for children and their families about phobias such as this... Anon
My 10 year old daughter was exactly the same way until this year when a parent told us about using Lidocaine cream 10 minutes before the shot. My daughter's behavior and anxiety was so bad that nurses would remember her from year to year when she got a flu shot. It was horrid. However, she had to have two booster shots this year, we put the Lidocaine on both upper arms just in case they used the other arm. We explained that the cream would help her not physically feel the shot. We then helped her manage the anxiety. It helped that we went when there was almost no wait time. Also, the thing I love, love, love about Kaiser is that the pediatrician does not give shots and they are not even given in the regular pediatrician's office.
My daughter does not associate the shots with a visit to the doctor at all. Sometimes the shots are on the same day as an office visit and sometimes they're not.
My daughter admitted that she was nervous about going in for shots this last time, but also said she did not feel the shots AT ALL with the Lidocaine - best $8.00 we've ever spent. Mom of an anxiety-free daughter (about shots anyway)
My teenage daughter has a phobia with needles and has had a hard time with any vaccinations lately. She just had a blood draw and almost passed out. She had an anxiety attack about it the night before. Then she was very upset during the draw and afterwards had the shakes, was light- headed and had to take awhile to calm down. She held a stuffed animal during the procedure to try to help her stay calm. I tried to get her to use a focal point and relaxation techniques. Does anyone have suggestions about how to help her more for the next time she needs her blood tested? I want to give her tools to help her the rest of her life with this.
I am 60 and have had this phobia since I was 11. I used to be embarassed and ashamed and put up with numerous attitudes about being 'adult', now, I won't. I tell the person taking my blood, straight out, I'm a wuss and have passed out in the past. This is the truth. I tell them to be gentle and at least half the time they will ask me if I want to lay down for the draw. I tell them to engage me in conversation, about anything, as it keeps me diverted, I also never look at the damn needle. In the past I have tried using an ice cube to numb the area first, only good if you know where they are going to draw, also headphones playing LOUD music (diversion). Unless it's a fasting situation, I make sure to drink lots of water, and to eat something prior, as it helps with keeping blood pressure up. I also will take Rescue Remedy once in awhile. It is a homeopathic remedy that is good for calming. I also try to schedule first thing in the morning so I don't think about it all day. Much better than I used to be, and not willing to put up with any crap about being sensitive. Your daughter is in great company. Been there
Well, I had a needle phobia as a child, too. Occasionally, I fainted. Some things that helped:
(1) not looking at the injection taking place, at all, or even at the needle, beforehand.
(2) Having someone kind gently stroke or pat me on the other arm or on the leg during the procedure, so I could concentrate on their love and the comforting sensation
(3) Needing allergy shots for bee stings -- I was more phobic about the bees and my reaction to a sting than the 2 allergy shots a week, for a year. I still don't look when I get a vaccine, dental novacaine or a blood draw, but I no longer freak out.
(4) When getting an epidural for a C-section, I visualized flower buds opening. I wish your daughter luck in finding her own paths to overcoming this fear and think it's wonderful that you want to support her in this. -- adapted
Hi -- I have the same problem and I think it was at its peak when I was a teen. The worst experience I had was when I got up quickly after a blood draw and started walking out and was very close to blacking out. I was disoriented and the room started closing in on me. Here's how I deal with it now:
- Avoid looking at the needle
- I always tell the technician/nurse that I have a hard time with blood draws and the like
- Take deep breaths before, during, and after
- I always sit or lie down for several minutes after so I don't pass out.
Good luck to your daughter, I'm sure she can overcome the battle if she doesn't psyche herself out. ASP