You asked

How do I prepare my child for his first injection?

The one thing that really worries children when a visit to the doctor is necessary is whether they will have to get an injection or not. Studies have shown that children who know ahead of time that they are going to get a shot, do a lot better than those who do not. However, it is not a good idea to tell your child too far ahead of time. This will cause him to worry about the injection.

Tell him on the way to the doctor that he may have to get an injection and that the injection is to keep him healthy. If he asks you if it will hurt, then tell him the truth - say it will hurt for a few seconds and then it is over. This way, he will know what to expect. Leave the final decision of the injection to the doctor.

Studies have also shown that children do a lot better if the parents have a nonchalant attitude to injections - in other words, do not sympathise too much, yet do not be cold hearted about it either.

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