practice shot?

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My dd is 5 and TERRIFIED!!!! of shots...it takes three nurses and me to hold her down for shots at the doctor. I have never given her the epi before....so here's the question, I have an old epi that I am going to practice on an orange. Should I practice in front of her to show her what it would be like, or would this further her fear? She is well aware that the shot exists and we discuss the purpose of it almost on a daily basis. And she accepts the fact that some day she may need it. Any advice is welcome.

On Feb 26, 2006

I think practicing on an orange would be good for you but I don't know if you've ever seen the needle that comes out of the EpiPen. It is surprisingly long. I don't know if that would help too much. It might worsen her fear.

My ds was terrified until we actually had to use the EpiPen. Then he was very surprised at how little pain was involved. It was actually a positive experience for him because he is no longer afraid.

On Feb 26, 2006

Our son's doctor has asked that the next appt we bring an expired epi-pen so he can practice giving to himself and "learn" what the needle feels like. His theory is that some kids will not use the epi-pen in time due to the fear factor.

We have a neighbor whose son just did this and found that the needle was not an issue.

Keep in mind our son is 16.

On Feb 26, 2006

My son has practiced several times with expired pens. It helped him learn how hard he'd have to press, what is sounded like, the size of the needle, etc. We did the first one, he's done several since. We had done this sort of annually until we got a trainer pen to train care providers, friends, etc. It may be helpful for your daughter to see it and hear it, etc without needing to feel it or feel the effects like she does with other shots at the doctor. I'd suggest doing it as often as you can to help desensitize her. Of course, I'm no psychologist, but that's my mothers intuition.

On Feb 26, 2006

Wow. That is really a tough one. I don't think I would do that very first practice one in front of her. Because if you are at all surprised, negative, [i]anything[/i] about the experience, it may make her fear much worse...

It helped us to remind our daughter that an epipen was really "fast medicine" to take away some of the allergic reaction. But this only works if they've had a reaction which is truly frightening or awful enough that they would do almost anything to make it go away. And our daughter just wasn't that frightened of needles. I would absolutely [i]not[/i] emphasize the needle part with a needle-phobic child. The circumstances of needing it are worse than the fear of the needle at the time, in my opinion.

So I guess what I am saying is that I don't know of any kids who have fought an epipen injection during a major reaction! (Maybe somebody has a different experience than this...)

Hope that helps. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Feb 26, 2006

My son has also always been very terrified of needles. I would not practice with an expired epi in front of him as I feel it would increase his fear.

He does know it's a needle. He also knows it might hurt, and even if it does hurt it has to stay in until the count of 10. He has practiced with a trainer, and we even practice pulling it out straight (bending it with a needle in your leg would hurt).

He is now 7 and still scared of needles - but he shows no fear of the epi - he seems to understand it's only in a real emergency and that the needle is not as bad as the reaction would be. (I have no idea how I've succeeded in teaching him that, he has no memory of reactions and his were not anaphylactic anyway.)

There is a thread somewhere that several of us discussed teaching our children how to use an epi-pen. I'll see if I can find it for you.

On Feb 26, 2006

I found the thread.

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum3/HTML/001340.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum3/HTML/001340.html[/url]

On Feb 26, 2006

I wouldn't show her until she's older. I grew up on shots (allergy shots and antibiotic shots and other stuff due to other health issues) and was never scared of them but the epi TERRIFIED me. The needle is really big, and just the whole procedure, this huge needle flying out into your leg and it makes a noise. I think I was better about managing my allergy because of my fear of having to use that thing. Now I know there are much worse things than big flying needles (like small ones, those baby butterfly ones they use to draw blood hurt worse than the big ones). But I think at that age, with her already bad fear of needles, it might be better for her not to actually see the needle until she's older *or* until it's on its way out of her leg.

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