Parents of athletes should monitor teen med use

When it gets right down to it, all parents should monitor all medications their child may be taking, whether the child is athletic or not. However, a new report indicates that teens who participate in athletic teams and activities are more likely to mismanage or abuse their prescribed medications.

Of particular concern are prescriptions that contain opioids, an addictive narcotic substance that is frequently prescribed to help manage pain. Because athletes tend to incur more injuries than non-athletes, these teens tend to be prescribed opioid pain medications more often, presenting them with a greater chance of running into problems with abuse and addiction. With as many as 7.5 million adolescents taking part in athletic programs and the number of injuries totaling up at around 2 million each year, this presents a significant problem to the teen population.

A study recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Health followed 1,540 teens and their usage of prescription medications. It showed that athletic adolescent children were more likely to be prescribed these types of strong painkillers, due mostly to the fact that their sports-related injuries tended to be more severe than others. Researchers found that, while male and female athletes were both likely to encounter these types of medications as part of treatment, boys were prescribed them more often and were significantly more likely to misuse or abuse the meds than girls.

One reason researchers believe this may be true is because boys are more likely to engage in rougher, full-contact sports such as wrestling or football, both of which have higher rates of injury. Another reason, researchers postulated, is the strong and unique influence the sports culture has on young men.

“Adolescent males depend on sports for social status, the maintenance of relationships with male peers and family members,” said lead researcher Philip Veliz, Ph.D., of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “In other words, sports are a powerful site to be recognized as a man, and male adolescents will sacrifice their bodies through athletic performances to prove their masculinity. Consequently, opioid use and misuse among males could be the byproduct of a play-through-pain culture.”

Despite the potential for abuse, however, Veliz and his colleagues don’t recommend that parents ask physicians to forgo this type of pain medication altogether. Opioids are frequently prescribed to adults as well, and young adulthood is the perfect time to help kids develop their pain management processes early in life, so that abuse or addiction is less likely as they grow through adulthood. In fact, parental engagement and monitoring can significantly decrease the likeliness of abuse. According to Veliz, teens are often given these medications and then left unsupervised, with parents assuming they’ll follow the label instructions. Parents who make it a point to know what the recommended doses are and inquire about them on a regular basis may help their children behave more responsibly when managing addictive pain medications such as opioids.

A growing problem in the US
The mismanagement of opioids and other addictive painkillers is a serious issue. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these medications were responsible for  more than 475,000 emergency room visits in 2009 – a number which has since doubled. Children who learn to use these prescriptions responsibly at an early age will have a better chance of avoiding circumstances such as addiction, illness and overdose as a result of these medications.

FLAVORx makes medicinal flavorings for oral medications. Ask your pharmacist how you can get FLAVORx today.

More people make time to get vaccinated when they’re given reminders

Parents and children are busier than ever these days, and it can be difficult to carve time out of the weekly routine to make an additional doctor’s appointment and bring the family in to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, this leads to many cases of illness that could otherwise have been prevented. But what can be done to help parents make time to ensure that their families are protected?

A group of researchers from the University of Michigan set out to study the question. By collaborating with the Michigan Department of Community Health, the study group found that by using the Michigan Care Improvement Registry – a public health database that tracks immunizations in the state – to track those who had not received the vaccine and send reminders to their households, more people could be encouraged to get vaccinated. Their findings were published in the Nov. 14 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

In testing their theories, the university researchers looked at the events that occurred around the H1N1 pandemic during the 2009-2010 flu season, and began by tracking the progress of the MDCH’s statewide influenza vaccine reminder campaign. Reminder letters were sent to parents of children who were known to have chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes who had not yet received the recommended shot.

The MDCH selected these families to receive the letters, citing that children who are affected by these types of chronic conditions also had an increased risk of experiencing more severe complications from H1N1 influenza. Because of this, the state organization recommended that parents see their child’s regular health care provider or a local health department in order to make an appointment to get the vaccination.

In studying the vaccination records for the 2009-2010 flu season, researchers were able to determine that late vaccination rates for children who received the reminder letters were much higher than those for children without chronic conditions, who didn’t receive the letters.

“Immunization registries like MCIR are important public health tools. This study shows the value of using immunization registries to prompt parents of children with a chronic condition to get that child vaccinated,” explained Kevin Dombkowski, research associate professor with the University of Michigan’s Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit.

What does this mean for the future?
Dombkowski said that this study was an important one for determining how the state of Michigan, and the entire country, might move forward with pandemic protection. By using these reminder letters, public health officials can do their part to help remind parents of important vaccinations for serious and even potentially life-threatening viruses.

The letters, which were sent exclusively to the parents of children with serious chronic conditions in the 2009-2010 flu season, could be used to help all children and even adults who have not received their vaccinations. While the costs of such a program may once have been considered, options such as text messaging and email distribution have made them less prohibitive. According to Dombkowski, the MDCH has made a significant investment of both time and resources maintaining the MCIR, making it one of the most effective immunization registries in the country, able to serve as a model for other states.

Even with a vaccination, contracting the flu is still possible. Parents whose children do get the virus should contact their child’s health care professional as soon as possible for treatment. Treating the flu early can help prevent complication.

FLAVORX makes medicinal flavorings that can help children take their medicine. Ask your pharmacist how to get FLAVORx for your child.

Recognizing Type 1 diabetes in children could save their lives

No parent wants to consider the possibility that their child is affected by a disease as serious as Type 1 diabetes, however, in many cases not being proactive in recognizing the signs could mean the difference between life and death. Type 1 diabetes is an irreversible condition in which the body cannot produce the insulin necessary to regulate glucose, or blood sugar, levels. Compared to Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 is very rare, affecting only 5 percent of those with the disease, according to statistics from the American Diabetes Association. Because it is almost always diagnosed in children and young adults, it was once referred to as juvenile diabetes.

Several potential side effects can occur when glucose levels in the body aren’t properly regulated. Many people report feeling fatigued or weakened when their blood sugar is out of whack. If promptly treated with medication, these symptoms can be easily controlled. However, Type 1 diabetes opens the door to a number or related conditions that aren’t as easy to manage. These conditions include nerve damage, heart or blood vessel disease, kidney damage, skin and mouth conditions, eye damage and hearing loss, among others, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Perhaps even more critical is the risk of entering a diabetic coma, sometimes called diabetic shock. This is a serious state in which the blood sugar levels in the body are either far too high (hyperglycemia) or far too low (hypoglycemia). Without insulin present to regulate these sugars by converting them into starches that the body can use as food, the body can enter a state of unconsciousness that makes it impossible to respond to external stimuli – and impossible to get the medicine necessary to treat the condition. Because of this, diabetic coma has the chance of becoming a life-threatening issue.

How to recognize signs of Type 1 diabetes in your child
The only way to truly know if your child is experiencing symptoms of Type 1 diabetes is to have your child tested by a doctor. However, there are a number of warning signs that parents can and should watch for in order to know when to make an appointment.

Some of the characteristic early symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include extreme thirst and increased frequency of urination. It may seem as if the child cannot get properly hydrated, even as he or she eliminates the excess fluids. Changes in diet, such as increased hunger, may also occur, as can sudden weight loss. Many children also report feeling constantly tired and weak, and experiencing blurred or fuzzy vision. A key factor is that the symptoms seem to come on suddenly, as if out of nowhere, and do not fade.

If your child begins experiencing a combination of symptoms, it may be time to ask for a diabetes test. If the condition is caught early and properly controlled through medication, such as insulin injections, children can lead healthy, normal lives. However, identifying it early is the key.

Though instances of Type 1 diabetes have historically been rare and have been overshadowed lately due to the dramatic spike in cases of obesity-related Type 2 diabetes, new data show that the condition is becoming more common.

“It’s a slow rise, but it’s there. And no one is quite sure why,” Sarah Hart-Unger, M.D., pediatric endocrinologist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, told the Miami Herald.

Parents with children who are affected by this disease should remain tuned in to their child’s health, both to monitor the diabetes itself and to look for warning signs that may indicate a related health complication. Most conditions can be managed with help from a physician if they’re caught early and properly treated.

FLAVORx provides medicinal flavorings that make medicine taste better for kids. Ask your pharmacist about FLAVORx for your child.

Recognize autism earlier for best treatment results

Approximately 1 in every 88 children born today will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and male children are even more likely to show signs of the conditions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of ASDs earlier, parents can work with their child’s doctors and specialists to determine the individual plan that is best for the developing child and reduce some of the negative feelings that are often associated with this difficult time.

What are autism spectrum disorders?
Autism spectrum disorders, or ASDs, are a group of developmental disabilities in which those diagnosed process information differently within the brain, often leading to irregular behavioral, communicative or social behaviors. The CDC posits there are several different types of autism, including autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified.

Autistic disorder, usually referred to as “classic autism,” is often associated with significant challenges in communication and social interactions as well as language delays. People who are affected by autistic disorder frequently exhibit behaviors and interests that are considered unusual. Some but not all persons also show intellectual disability. Autistic disorder is what most people think of when they think of ASDs.

Asperger’s syndrome is often a milder form of autism that causes the individual to experience challenges in socialization but rarely causes language or intellectual problems. Individuals with Asperger’s may also exhibit unusual behaviors and interests.

Those who are diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified, or PDD-NOS display milder symptoms than those with classic autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Communicative challenges and social challenges are most prevalent in those diagnosed with this condition.

How can I tell if my child has autism?
Only a medical professional can definitively diagnose a child with an ASD, however, if you are concerned that your child may be affected, there are a number of signs you can watch for in the early years of his or her life.

One new study recently published in the journal Nature suggests that one of the earliest indicators of an ASD in the early months of a child’s life is whether or not an infant shows interest in making eye contact with others. The study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, suggests that a child’s declining interest in meeting the eyes of those around him or her may be an early indicator.

Other warning signs include not responding to their own name by 12 months of age, not showing an interest in socializing or playing games based on learning or imagination, delayed speech and language skills, repeating words or phrases over and over without reason and responding to questions with unrelated answers. Children may also appear to behave irrationally – such as becoming quickly upset – over seemingly trivial things, such as minor changes to their environment or the way something sounds, looks, feels, smells or tastes. Other, more physical signs include excessive flapping of the hands, rocking of the body or spinning in circles.

Wondering whether your child may be affected by autism can be a difficult time for parents, however, there are a number of treatments and therapies that can help control the disorder and enable the child to lead a full and happy life. If your child has been diagnosed with an ASD, work closely with doctors to develop an individualized plan that will give your child the best chance of success. Such treatments often include a mix of therapy and medications that will help the child adjust to his or her surroundings.

FLAVORx makes medicinal flavorings that can help make taking medicine easier for children. Ask your pharmacist how to get FLAVORx with your child’s prescription.

Parents should manage media use to help kids stay healthy

Children as well as adolescents are spending too much time in front of the screen, and it's costing them their health, pediatricians say. According to Scientific American, children in the United States are spending approximately eight hours a day in front of some form of screen, whether it's a television set, computer or tablet. Furthermore, adolescents are spending up to 11 hours – almost half of their day – in front of a screen.

Too much time in front of these LCD screens has been associated with a number of poor health outcomes, including lack of physical fitness, obesity, trouble sleeping, Type 2 diabetes and more. These conditions may in turn cause other mental health issues. For example, obesity has been linked to emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, lack of self-esteem and body image issues. Diabetes is associated with a number of other physical ailments and can even be life-threatening if not properly managed.

Pediatricians and other health experts are also concerned about the behavioral and social ramifications that this time spent in front of the screen (rather than interacting and collaborating with peers) may cause.

How to create a media management plan in your home
In order to create an effective and responsible media usage plan for kids, it's important to know how they're already using their media. Are they spending hours surfing the net and interacting with social media – or are they surfing the television channels from your couch? Knowing what's already happening can help you share your household's plan.

So, what makes a good household media plan?

"A healthy approach to children's media use should both minimize potential health risks and foster appropriate and positive media use," said Marjorie Hogan, M.D., FAAP, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrician's policy on children's media management. "Parents, educators and pediatricians should participate in media education, which means teaching children and adolescents how to make good choices in their media consumption."

The AAP recommends that kids spend no more than two hours each day on entertainment-based media. This includes watching television, playing video games on a console or tablet device, surfing the net and engaging in social media. Many children are required to use screens in school or as part of homework assignments, and this should be kept separate from your home's media usage limits.

Children should also be limited in where they use their devices. For example, the AAP suggests that children should never have a television in their room, as this allows kids to watch television when they might engage in other more productive or social activities. It may also encourage kids to watch TV late at night, which may cause problems sleeping.

Limiting kids' media usage and helping them to understand why can foster greater physical and emotional health in children, and will help instill better habits that may last for a lifetime.

Is it OK to give OTC cough and cold medicine to young children?

People often make the mistake of thinking that because something is sold over the counter, it is also safe. However, many OTC medications have powerful effects that may be harmful if the medication is not taken exactly as prescribed on the label. One of the most critical things to pay attention to when reading labels is the dosages recommended per age level. In many cases, children's recommended dosages will be half or even less than half of what is prescribed for an adult. And in other cases, labels recommend that medications not be given to children at all, especially when they're under 2 years of age.

Unfortunately, children under 2 still get sick, and it can be difficult for parents to watch their infant or toddler struggling with an illness they can't comprehend. While this has led many to "bend the rules" and give their toddlers a tiny taste of cold medicine in the hopes of alleviating symptoms and making the child feel better, doctors say "don't!"

Children are still growing and developing, and their systems are not as strong as those of their adult counterparts. Medications that can be safely processed by adults may actually be toxic to children. In fact, cough and cold medicine in particular has been responsible for many infant and toddler trips to the emergency room, and has – in more than one case – resulted in fatal overdose.

What doctors are doing about it
In response to increasing episodes of infant ER visits, those in the medical field have ramped up their efforts to educate the public and regulate OTC manufacturers. In 2007, many over-the-counter cold and cough syrup manufacturers in the U.S. voluntarily withdrew their products from the shelves. The following year, these medications were reintroduced with revised packaging aimed at informing parents about the products' proper use. Among the changes were enlarged labels advising parents not to give OTC cough and cold medication to children under 4 years of age.

In November 2013, five years after the change, a study entitled "Cough and Cold Medication Adverse Events After Market Withdrawal and Labeling Revision" appeared in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics. The study, sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, showed that the relabeling and re-education efforts were having the desired effect. ER visits for children below 3 years of age had decreased across the country. Before the campaign to reduce OTC cold medication in infants, these episodes accounted for 4.1 percent of all adverse-drug events resulting in ER visits for children under the age of 2. At the time of the study, that number had declined to 2.4 percent. For children in the 2-3 age range, the number decreased from 9.5 percent to 6.5 percent.

Also important among the findings was that, of the number of current ER visits, growing amounts were caused by unsupervised ingestion. Study authors said that this indicates that the next step in the campaign to end OTC overdose in children may come in the form of improved packaging, such as enhanced child-safety mechanisms, as well as better education on safe storage practices of OTC medications.

What parents can do right now
Parents should always ensure that their medications are out of reach of young children. Placing them on high shelves or tucking them away in a cabinet with a child-safe lock is best. Parents of young children should also carefully read packaging to see whether a child-safe package is available. In addition, children should always be carefully monitored when taking oral medications such as cough and cold syrups.

FLAVORx makes medicinal flavorings that can make medicine time easier for children. Ask your pharmacist how you can get FLAVORx for your child.

Children in the southern US are more likely to experience hay fever

Many parents confuse mild to moderate allergies with instances of the common cold, which is understandable. Symptoms are similar, ranging from coughing, sneezing and runny nose to swollen, itchy nose and eyes. And in the autumn, which is kick-off season for both allergies and colds, children are just as disposed to pick up either one. Unless, it appears, you live in the southern United States. New research being presented this week at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has found that children who live in the South are more likely to experience signs and symptoms of hay fever.

The AAAI estimates that approximately 50 million Americans experience some form of allergies, and up to 18 percent of kids in the U.S. are affected by hay fever specifically. Researchers focused on reports of 91,642 children age 17 or younger who participated in the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health. The survey found that the majority of hay fever-affected children were living in the southern U.S., while the states that experienced the least frequency of hay fever were Alaska, Montana and Vermont. While the exact cause of the disparity is unknown, these circumstances lead researchers to believe that the cause is most likely environmental, and related to factors such as temperature, precipitation and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Hay fever, known also as allergic rhinitis, is most likely to affect people in the spring and fall months.

"According to the study, wetter regions with average humidity were associated with a decreased number of children with hay fever," said Michael Foggs, MD, ACAAI president-elect. "The study also found areas of the South with warm temperatures and elevated UV indexes seem to harbor more hay fever sufferers."

How to cope with a hay fever allergy
Though instances of the allergies are more prevalent in the southern regions, researchers don't advocate that parents consider relocating in order to escape the illness. Instead, parents should work on limiting their child's exposure to allergy triggers and seeking the appropriate medications from the child's pediatrician.

Most who are allergic to hay fever can blame ragweed as the culprit, however, there are other grasses that may affect their symptoms or cause a flare-up. Learning what these triggers are and avoiding them when possible can help reduce the severity of symptoms. Using an air purifier in the home and keeping the windows up during car rides can also help keep symptoms at bay.

In some cases, prescription medication may be the best solution for the child. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a number of available treatments, including antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants and vaccinations. Talking to a doctor or pharmacist may help ascertain what's best for an individual child.

FLAVORx makes medicinal flavorings that can help make medicine time easier for children. Ask your pharmacist how you can get FLAVORx for your child today.

Child concussions: Risks, healing and a return to normal life

Childhood concussions have become a hot-button issue these days, especially as they pertain to childhood athletics such as football and other full-contact sports. For many, football is a dangerous sport that children just shouldn't participate in. Others, such as Robert Cantu, M.D., believe that only the tackle element needs to be removed in children under age 14, and that the rest of the game can still be enjoyed, according to Time magazine.

Cantu also stressed the importance of proper headgear, such as helmets with chinstraps for sports such as football, field hockey, lacrosse and more traditionally "safe" sports such as baseball and softball. Even the majority of childhood sports proponents agree that they need to be approached with a degree of safety, especially when the health impact of concussions can be so severe.

Side effects of concussions
Though medical professionals often classify concussions as "minor" head injuries because they're usually not directly life-threatening, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned that a concussion is a brain injury, and all brain injuries are serious. Furthermore, the Mayo Clinic warned that there are several major complications that are the direct results of concussion.

One of the major risk factors of those who have experienced a concussion is epilepsy. Those who have incurred a concussion are twice as likely to experience episodes of epilepsy, for up to five years after the initial trauma.

Another potentially serious complication associated with concussion is second-impact syndrome. This occurs when the individual incurs a second head injury before the first concussion has healed completely. This can result in fast and often fatal swelling of the brain.

Finally, those who experience concussion, especially more than one, have an increased likelihood of developing cumulative cognitive damage that may limit or impair a person's functional abilities.

Healing from concussion
Rest is the only way to "cure" a concussion, however, those who experience them may need to make some life adjustments until they are completely healed. This is particularly important for those who have incurred serious head injury due to concussion. Feelings of dizziness, headache, difficulty concentrating, confusion or even amnesia are all common in those who have experienced a concussion.

Because of this, those in the healing phases often have trouble assimilating back into their normal lives, and for children, this means the classroom. Those who experience these side effects are more likely to have a difficult time following lesson plans, completing schoolwork and keeping up with the other children.

"Students appear physically normal after a concussion, so it may be difficult for teachers and administrators to understand the extent of the child's injuries and recognize the potential need for academic adjustments," said Mark Halstead, M.D., FAAP, reported the American Academy of Pediatrics. "But we know that children who've had a concussion may have trouble learning new material and remembering what they've learned, and returning to academics may worsen concussion symptoms."

Doctors can prescribe medications to help reduce feelings of dizziness and facilitate concentration, which can help children reintegrate into the classroom. In addition, teachers and parents need to be patient and encourage the child to take things slow.

FLAVORx makes medicinal flavorings that can help make taking medication easier for children. Ask your pharmacist how you can get your child's favorite FLAVORx flavor for his or her prescription.

New flu shot options available this year

Most physicians recommend that all individuals make the effort to get vaccinated this year, but advise that it's especially important for senior citizens as well as young children. Young children are often especially at risk for contracting the influenza virus, because they come into direct contact with children at school, on the playground and during extracurricular activities, making the spread of germs much more likely.

This year, there are a number of new options available for the influenza vaccination, some meant to make the vaccination more inclusive by eliminating common allergens, and others meant to ward off more strains of the virus. Here's an update on what's available for the 2013-2014 flu season.

New 4-strain vaccine
A new type of flu shot called the "quadrivalent vaccine" can now help protect against four separate strains of the influenza virus. Last year, the most potent vaccine included defenses against only three separate strains, which has been the standard in years past. Doctors are advising people who want this new flu shot to get inoculated earlier rather than later, however, because the supply may be limited (though individuals will still have access to the three-strain vaccinations).

Each year, the influenza virus mutates in order to fight the antibodies created in response to the vaccination. This means that the following year's vaccine needs to be that much more tailored to the new virus. A four-strain shot will give your children the best chance against both newer and older strains of the flu virus.

New methods that may be more kid-friendly
Traditionally, the flu shot was given with a long needle. Doctors and other medical professionals often prefer longer needles because of their ability to more easily tear past the layers of skin and reach the muscle below. This year, many doctor's offices and pharmacies are offering the option of a smaller, thinner needle that may be more gentle for children and older individuals who tend to bruise more easily. This new needle should only "prick" the skin, meaning the child will be less likely to experience the bruising and soreness typically associated with the flu shot.

For those who simply can't stand needles, a nasal spray vaccination is available, however, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that children below the age of 2 shouldn't receive the nasal spray version of the vaccine.

Egg-free vaccine options
One lesser-known fact is that the influenza vaccine is grown within eggs inside laboratories. This means that many individuals who are allergic to eggs have not been able to receive the benefits of the vaccinations. This year, and eggless version of the vaccine is now available on the market. Before opting for an egg-free flu shot, however, ask your doctor whether you or your child is a good candidate for this relatively new vaccine option.

In addition to new medications, there are also more places where parents and their children can choose to get vaccinated, making it more convenient. While you can still pursue the flu shot from your pediatrician, more pharmacies are now offering vaccinations, as are community centers and other local clinics. The CDC offers an online "Flu Vaccine Finder" where parents can simply enter their zip code and find the most convenient option.

With all the new offerings available, doctors are hoping that more individuals should be able to benefit from influenza protection this flu season. In the event that your child does contract the flu, many medications are available to ease symptoms and help him or her get better faster.

FLAVORx makes medicinal flavorings that can help children enjoy taking their medicine. Ask your pharmacist how you can get your child's prescription in his or her favorite FLAVORx flavor.

Help your child get through shots at the doctor’s office

For most young children, shots are no fun. However, every parent knows that they're essential parts of keeping their children healthy by preventing potentially serious illness or disease. According to the standard immunization schedule provided by the California Department of Health, there are more than 30 different vaccinations that children need before kindergarten alone.

Some kids are able to take shots calmly and quietly, though the majority feel some trepidation and many may even feel terror at the thought of a needle. Here are a few ways you can help your kids cope with getting a shot at the doctor's office.

Offer a reward
There's a reason why doctors and nurses often hand out lollipops during an immunization. Getting a little something for their pains may provide enough incentive for children to endure the needle. One analysis published in the 2012 issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood found that giving children something sweet, such as sucrose or glucose, before an immunization reduces the amount of crying afterward. It's a win-win!

Numb the injection area
While it's often the sight of the needle that causes terror, in some cases it's the sting of the shot itself. You can minimize this by asking the doctor to provide a numbing solution that will help stave off some of the pain. Of course, a topical solution likely won't leave the skin completely devoid of sensitivity, which means the child will likely feel the prick of the needle as it pierces the skin.

Distract them
For those that do fear the sight of the needle, a trick that often works is distraction. Hold their attention by providing something else for them to look at, such as a hand puppet, bubbles or even their favorite cartoon playing on a television nearby. While they'll still feel the sting, this may help keep them calm.

In some cases, oral medications may be available in place of injections. In other cases, such as the flu shot, nasal sprays are available. If your child truly can't tolerate the needle, ask your pediatrician which medications may be taken orally instead.

FLAVORx makes medicinal flavorings that can help children take their medicine. Ask your pharmacist for more information on FLAVORx today.