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Last Updated on April 30, 2021 by Diane Hoffmaster
This post about how to deal with a fear of needles is made possible with support from the Meg Foundation. All opinions are my own.
Ever since my daughter was little, she has been terrified of needles. I have no idea why or when exactly it started. I do know, however, that I still had a teenager sitting on my lap in tears a few years ago while she got her vaccinations. And teenagers aren't all that easy to fit on a lap!
But, despite her lifelong needle phobia, you know what she did last week? She got her first Covid vaccine at college. All by herself. With no mom lap to sit on. And I am beyond proud of her for her strength in dealing with this anxiety.
If you or someone you care about suffers from a phobia of needles, there are several things you can do to get over needle fears. Whether it is you, your child, or a friend, follow a few of these tips and don't let needle anxiety keep you from getting your vaccines.
Tips for Reducing Needle Anxiety
Action is the enemy of anxiety. And the more concrete your plan; the better you’ll feel. So, what can you do to learn how to deal with a fear of needles?
Here are a few actionable steps that might help. Remember, fear of needles is a COMMON problem for both adults and kids. You are not alone!
- Speak up and tell your provider what you need to make yourself more comfortable with the process.
- Breathe slowly and deeply before and during the procedure.
- Numb the area with ice or friction before the vaccination.
- Use distraction techniques. Music, videos, or whatever else works to keep your mind occupied.
- Bring a friend or family member to hold your hand or just crack a few jokes through the process.
- Keep your eyes averted. Don't watch other people being vaccinated and don't look when it is your turn either.
- Treat yourself to a reward afterward. My daughter and I always went out for smoothies after her vaccines.
What Is The Meg Foundation?
The Meg Foundation is a nonprofit organization. Their mission is to empower families with the pain management strategies, skills, and support they need to prevent and reduce pain.
When it comes to needle phobias, they have resources for both adults and children to help overcome the mental and physical pain some people deal with during vaccinations.
Learning how to deal with a fear of needles isn't easy. And with needle anxiety a very common problem, I bet you know someone who suffers from it, right?
You can print out a list of tips from the Hack The Vax website and share it with anyone you know who is hesitant about getting vaccines.
#ThinkPlanGo and Conquer Needle Phobia
THINK about someone you know who may secretly be scared of needles. Help them make a PLAN for which technique will work best from the Hack the Vax site.
Then encourage them to get a vaccine appointment, and GO use their getting-over-needle-fears plan.
Pass on these techniques because you never know when someone else is feeling nervous.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.