There's nothing my son hates more than getting a shot. How can I ease his fear? – Laurie If your son is a toddler or younger child, try taking his mind off the shots by bringing a favorite toy or book to the doctor's office. As he gets the shot, you might have him: count to 10 sing a song with you look away at a picture on the wall or out a window wear headphones and listen to his favorite song You also can hold your son's hand or let him sit in your lap while he gets a shot. But try not to look upset or concerned. Kids look to their parents, especially in a new or anxious situation. If you're calm and relaxed, your child is more likely to be too. You might have heard about a tool called Buzzy. This over-the-counter "personal pain relief" device uses cold to help numb the area and vibrations to reduce sensation while a shot is given. Many parents who have used it report good results and less pain for their child. Consider using a reward system to support brave behavior. Bring stickers or other small prizes that you can give during the appointment and offer praise. You might do something fun after the visit as a reward for success. A trip to the park or playground can make the day's memories more pleasant. If your son is a teen, encourage him to bring something — a game, book, or music player — that will distract him while he waits. When it comes time for the shot, he can take deep breaths, focus on something else in the room, relax his arm, or cough. Research shows that these techniques can help reduce anxiety and make the shot less painful. Let the doctor or nurse know ahead of time if you or your son are nervous. They often deal with people who are afraid of shots, and they can help your son relax. Others can support your child too. Mental health professionals and child-life specialists offer education, support, and tools to help kids face fears and feel more comfortable getting their shots. Back to Articles Related Articles 5 Tips for Surviving Shots If you're afraid of shots, you're not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips. Read More What's a Normal Reaction to a Shot? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More A Kid's Guide to Shots If you're old enough to read this, you've probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids. Read More Helping Kids Deal With Injections and Blood Tests Blood tests and insulin injections can be a challenge for kids with diabetes and their parents. Here are some strategies for coping with these necessary procedures. Read More Preparing Your Child for Visits to the Doctor When kids know they're "going to the doctor," many become worried about the visit. Here's how to help them. Read More Immunization Schedule Which vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference. Read More Common Questions About Immunizations Immunizations have protected millions of children from potentially deadly diseases. Learn about immunizations and find out exactly what they do - and what they don't. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.