I have to get a shot??? Freak out!!!
That’s what happened when our pre-kindergartener was told she would need to get some shots in go to kindergarten with her friends. But getting those school immunizations turned out to be a breeze after we used some simple strategies. These ideas might help your little, too!
We took our oldest in for her five-year exam and kindergarten exam. It went amazingly well. It went way better than I was anticipating, for sure. I want to share with you how our day went and some of the things we did in preparation for such a great outcome.
About two months before pre-school ended in May, we received paperwork from her school explaining what was needed in the way of vaccinations in order for her to attend Kindergarten. We knew she would need a couple of vaccinations because early on we had decided on a delayed vaccination schedule. We talked to our pediatrician and he said, “Okay, you can do five or six different shots or you can do two combo shots.” One combo shot needed was measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. The second combo needed was the DTaP and polio. At her age, because I felt comfortable with combo shots, we decided to go that route. When I told her, her first response, as you might imagine, was tears; full-on waterworks.
She freaked out. “I don’t want another shot, it’s going to hurt, aahhh.” I said, “Okay, well you know, you don’t have to but if you want to go to Kindergarten with your friends, (which was a big motivator for her), you have to. I’m really sorry.”
During the next two months, we went through the process of her crying and then trying to bargain her way out of it. I listened as she told me that she was going to explain to the doctor that because she was five she didn’t need shots. She was trying to figure her way around it.
Actually at one point, she said, “What if I stay home?” and I asked her, “Do you want to do homeschool?”
She said, “Yeah!” and I said, “Well, okay we can do that.”
Then she said, “But what about my friends? Can they come, too?”
I said, “No, honey. They’re going to be at school.”
She said, “But I want to be with my friends!”
Friends were a pretty good motivator, but I also think helping her process it over an extended period of time helped her come to it. The other thing that we did was to involve our community of adults and older friends. Their response was encouraging.
They said, “You know it doesn’t feel good. It’s not fun but it’s quick, get it over with and then you get to go to Kindergarten.”
That helped build her confidence and explain to her the way it was going to go. I think that really helped.
Another thing we did is bribe her or reward her! I showed her pictures of this awesome little yogurt place in town where you get to choose from like 10 different flavors of yogurt and 20 or 25 different kinds of toppings. I totally bribed her and saying, “After you get your shots, we’ll go get yogurt…” That doesn’t happen very often so she was like, “Yes!”
With that preparation, the doctor visit went amazingly well. It helped to have an experienced nurse who was sympathetic and positive with a can-do attitude.
It went way better than we expected and I’m so grateful. I think all the prep beforehand and the reward really helped. It also helped that her nurse was amazing at doing those shots! She was super quick.
One thing I do want to tell you mamas out there and papas, because I didn’t know this: her arm got red and it was bit swollen. It looked as if it was hot and itchy, which it was.
This is normal, apparently. I called the nurse just to double check all was okay. That was the arm that she had the DTaP and Polio combo shot in. The nurse explained to me that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is aware of the reaction but they don’t know why. They have determined that it’s the DTaP portion of the shot. It’s the booster effect and it usually happens on either the fourth or fifth shot in that series that the swelling, warmth and itching occurs. Apparently, it’s not anything to be concerned about.
The nurse instructed me to put an ice pack on it and give her a little bit of Tylenol. It should go away after a couple of days but I did want to mention that because I haven’t ever actually seen anything like that on my child. She didn’t seem to be too worried by it. So that’s…that’s okay with me, then.
If you have five-year olds getting ready to go in a Kindergarten I sure hope that this helps a little bit. Honestly, we checked out a few of the videos, to kind of prepare her and to help her understand what is going to be coming. So, hopefully you can share this with your kiddos and hopefully it helps.
If you as an experienced momma or papa have any suggestions that you want to share as far as prepping your kids for vaccination, I would love to hear it in the comments area below.
As you can tell from the video at the top of this post, we have a YouTube channel, now with well over 50 videos about family things: kids, childbirth, meals, money, relationships, marriage and more. Much of that content is in text format on this blog. We would love for you to come along with us on our journey either through the video or in this blog!
I hope you have a great rest of your day. Take care and we’ll see you next time!