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Shots, Pain Control

My baby goes back to the doctor for her two-month-visit, and I know she needs more shots. How can I help her with the pain?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Babies get a lot of shots their first year. It’s important to go to a pediatrician who’s willing to work with you on how to give shots, for example, giving the baby a dose of Tylenol beforehand. It’s best if the medication is given about 30 minutes before the shot, or perhaps when you’re walking into the doctors’ office. (Talk with your pediatrician before giving this or any medications.) Being able to cuddle or breast feed while your infant gets shots also decreases distress. I found it helpful to bring a toy along to doctor’s to distract my baby—red, black, and white for the two-month shots and brightly colored for the four- and six-month shots. A plastic toy, as opposed to a stuffed toy, is great because you can wipe the germs off.  

Amy Baxter, MD, a mom of two sons ages 13 and 10 and an 8-year-old daughter; the of CEO MMJ Labs; the inventor of Buzzy 4 Shots; and the Director of Emergency Research, Scottish Rite, of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 

Mommy MD Guides–Recommended Product: Buzzy: Taking the Sting out of Shots

The number of shots has risen exponentially over the past decade: Children now get more than 20 shots by the time they’re two. Yet only 6 percent of pediatricians offices use any kind of pain management for office shots. Is it any wonder that 30 percent of kids are severely needle phobic? 

Amy Baxter, MD, a mom of two sons ages 13 and 10 and an 8-year-old daughter; the CEO MMJ Labs; and the Director of Emergency Research, Scottish Rite, of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, invented a terrific product called Buzzy, a reusable pain-relief device that eases the pain of shots, splinters, and scrapes. 

“I knew that the body could stop pain naturally using something called ‘gate theory,’” Dr. Baxter says. “If you bang your knee and rub it, the pain stops, if you smash your finger and shake it, it helps the pain, or if you burn your finger and stick it under cold running water, it quits hurting.” 

Buzzy combines cold and vibration to block sharp pain transmission, just as putting a burned hand under water makes it better. Parents freeze the ice pack and bring it to the doctor’s office in a Cold-to-Go bag or sandwiched between two freezer packs. When the nurse is ready for the shots, the freezer pack is slipped into an elastic band behind Buzzy, then the vibrator is switched on and the ice and vibration are applied together “above” the site of the shot. Leave Buzzy on for at least 15 seconds, up to a minute or so for extra numbing.  Buzzy stays on during the poke to keep disrupting the nerve transmissions.  

You can buy Buzzy online for $34.95 at Buzzy4shots.com.

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.

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