How to Make Shots for Pre-Teens Hurt Less

by Cynthia Measom

Fear of the pain of shots can happen at any age -- it's not just restricted to toddlers and pre-schoolers. If your preteen is worried about pain from an impending shot, be as sympathetic as possible to her. Past experiences with painful immunizations can leave your preteen in an anxious and tense state when faced with shots, which can make for a wholly unpleasant situation. While you can't take the shots for your tween, you can gather tips about how help your child strategize to reduce the pain from shots.

Bring something such as a book or a gaming device from home. Then, if your child has to linger in the waiting room at the medical clinic, she can keep her stress level at bay with the power of distraction. This can help her from becoming tense before the shot.

Advise your preteen to find something in the room to focus on -- when he's about to receive the shot -- as a distraction. Tell your child to study the details of a painting -- such as counting flowers and other images -- or creating as many words as possible from lettering on a sign in the room, as suggested on the Akron Children's Hospital website.

Tell your preteen to relax her arm, and to take a deep breath and hold it just as she's about to get the shot. Advise her to blow out the air from her deep breath while the medical professional gives the shot to lessen the sting. As an alternative, your preteen can cough as the shot is given, which may also help her feel less pain, according to the Akron Children's Hospital website.


  • Advise your child to tell the medical professional giving him the shot that he's worried about pain. She may have some helpful tips.
  • Give your preteen ibuprofen after the shot to lessen the pain of a possible sore arm.


  • Some preteens may experience fainting after getting a shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Encourage your preteen to sit or lie down for approximately 15 minutes after the shot.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images