Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: A big pet peeve of mine is when a mother will tell her toddler, “The mean nurse is coming in to give you a shot.” That’s horrible!
When a toddler has to have a shot, it’s best to hold your him, cuddle him, and help to get him through the shot. Five minutes after the shot, kids are generally over it.
I don’t recommend giving pain medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) before shots because some studies suggest they could decrease the body’s immune response. But if your child is cranky or has a fever after the shot, you could give an age- and weight-appropriate dose of the medicine.
—Heather Orman-Lubell, MD, a mom of 11- and seven-year-old sons, and a pediatrician in private practice at Yardley Pediatrics of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children