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Preparing your child for vaccinations

Last Modified: May 06, 2022

Family Medicine

Molly Gerke, certified child life specialist, Parkview Health, walks parents and children through the vaccination and injection process, and offers tips for helpful comfort holds to ease an uneasy little one. 

There are many ways doctors and nurses help keep us healthy, and one of those is through vaccinations or injections. Sometimes you receive vaccinations at your doctor’s office, and sometimes these are given at the hospital. These injections help protect us from germs that can make us very sick or to help us feel better.

After you’ve checked in at the front desk, you might have to spend a little time in the waiting room. Once it’s your turn, a nurse will call your name and lead you back to an exam room. If you’re at your doctor’s office, they’ll want you to stand on the scale so they can see how much you weigh. Then they’ll see how tall you are.

Your nurse will ask you to sit on the bed. For the caregiver, if your child is feeling uneasy, you can try one of these comfort holds:

  • Chest to chest (any age)
  • Back to chest (any age)
  • Side sit (any age)
  • Cradle (infants and young toddlers)
  • Swaddle (infants and young toddlers)

Once it’s time for the injection or vaccination, your nurse will clean the area of your arm with an alcohol wipe. It will feel wet and cold on your arm. It might even smell a little funny. After they clean your arm, time for a poke. Once done, the nurse will put a bandage on your arm and you get to pick out a prize.

So there’s no reason to worry. You will be brave!



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