Stories about: immunization shots

Children don’t have time for the pain—of shots

Feeling "a little" pinch is a small price to pay for good healthcare. But we can do more to reduce the discomfort. (UNICEF Sverige/Flickr)

I remember distinctly both of my boys’ 4-month-old well visits. Mostly because of the shots: all four of them.

Neither boy was particularly happy about being poked that much (though the shiny Band-Aids afterward did help a little).

My wife and I would have loved to help ease the pain of the shots, but we didn’t have any idea how. Frankly, I don’t know that, in the moment, it crossed our minds that there was something we could do, and it wasn’t something we thought to ask our pediatrician about. I mean, it was just a little bit of pain, right?

The problem, though, is that those little bits of pain add up. “Millions of injections are given to children around the world every year,” says Neil Schechter, MD, a pain specialist in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Anesthesia Department. Schechter recently published an article in Pediatrics where he commented that while we’ve come a long way in the last 50 years in understanding and addressing pain in children—especially after surgery or due to chronic illness—pain in the pediatric office hasn’t received the same level of attention.

“The pain from shots and other minor procedures in a pediatrician’s office doesn’t have the same poignancy as pain in an inpatient setting,” he says, “but it is still pain. And if we want to encourage patients’ and families’ cooperation and participation in routine healthcare, we want to keep pain to a minimum.”

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FDA may scrutinize "health" food labels like drug labels, hearing helps and sweet shot baby!

Here are some pediatrics stories in the mainstream media we found interesting:

Are babies smarter than we thought? A new study shows that talking to your baby, even when they’re still in the womb, could help him/her develop early language skills.

Speaking of childhood hearing, how closely are hearing disorders linked to other types of development? Are new parents doing enough to check on their children’s hearing? The New York Times touched on the issue.

We’ve heard a spoonful of medicine helps the medicine go down. But can sweetness help shots hurt less? Healthday reports that giving babies a sugar solution prior to immunization shots seems to make the pain less acute.

Should FDA police food like they do drugs?The Boston Globe ran an article on a statement made by federal regulators that says food labels touting health benefits should be held under similar scrutiny to drug labeling.

First introduced 4 years ago, the Rotavirus vaccine has reduced hospitalization in kids, treating problems like gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. A team reported online in the Journal of Infectious Diseases that hospitalization rates for acute gastroenteritis dropped by 16% in 2007 and by 45% in 2008 compared with the earlier period.

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