The IWK Health Centre says it's gotten an overwhelmingly positive response to an educational video they've released to try to ease the pain for children — and their parents — getting needles.
"It doesn't really have to be this way," says the video.
The lighthearted video has been posted to the IWK Health Centre website and YouTube. It seems to be working — it's already been viewed more than 31,000 times.
It's a situation mother of three Angie Campbell has experienced before and will again.
Dos and don'ts of needles:
Do: Provide children with distractions.
Do: Take deep breaths. Blowing bubbles helps.
Do: Use a topical anesthetic about 1 hour before.
Don't: Say "It will be OK."
Don't: Say "It will be over soon."
"For the baby, I usually get really close and just kind of — not sing, but talk into her ear — 'Mommy's here, it's okay,’ just so that the baby hears my voice," she said.
"Then for the older ones I just tell her to look at me and try to talk to her, just talk about anything."
Dr. Christine Chambers, who helped develop the video, said it was produced to give parents more tips to help them help their children. She said the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
"Most parents are completely unaware that there is a topical anesthetic cream that they can get at the local pharmacy and put on their child's body about an hour before the procedure and that significantly reduces pain," she said.
Campbell said the tips in the video are useful.
"I like the distractions, the ideas they showed. And it's hard not to say, 'It will be OK.' But I'll remember not to try to say that. So yeah it was a cute video," she said.
Chambers hopes that by starting young, these tips will eventually limit the number of adults with a needle phobia.
"Our view is that if we did a better job at managing children's pain from procedures using evidence-based strategies like what we describe in the video, that fewer children would develop that significant fear of needles," she said.
Chambers said she'd like to make more short videos at the IWK Health Centre to make it easier for parents to watch and learn.