The HELPinKIDS Evidence-Based guideline aimed at reducing immunization pain in children was published December 14, 2010 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The full guideline (created by a multidisciplinary team of experts from across Canada) with clinical tools, parent information sheets, and clinical algorithms are available by clicking here.
Specific suggestions that clinicians can utilize to reduce pain and anxiety include breastfeeding, sweet tasting solutions if infant is not being breast fed, topical anesthetics, and needle injection techniques (i.e., rapid intramuscular injection without aspiration, injecting the most painful vaccine last, tactile stimulation). Psychological techniques such as parent led coaching/distraction and child led strategies (i.e., deep breathing, combined cognitive-behavioral interventions) can all assist in reducing distress during immunization.
For further information and an educational video, please click here.