Today was Ryan’s well visit since his seventh birthday was about a week and a half ago. I always piggyback flu shots on to Ryan’s well visit because it falls at the right time of year and I can take the other two along without them getting suspicious. I know some kids do better with shots when they are prepared ahead of time but my kids are not those kids. It works best to have them find out they are getting a shot when the nurse is approaching their arm with the needle.
My best shots for kids technique is known as the Giant Candy Bar technique. It started working for Ryan at age five and hasn’t worked for Alex yet (age four). I get a giant version of their favorite candy bar and tell them they can eat it while they get their shot but only during the shot. So they have to shovel down as much as they can manage while the shot is happening. It works really well because they are so busy trying to get as much candy in as possible that they don’t have much attention to pay to their arms.
I also have a shotblocker (Amazon) and I bring iPads. It’s enough distractions that we manage to do this fairly easily. Alex still needed to be chased down, pulled out of a corner, carried to the table, seated on my lap, and held down by my legs, my arms, and a spare nurse. But we get there in the end.