It Doesn’t Have to Hurt: Strategies for Helping Children with Shots and Needles. A YouTube Video for Parents

This is a Guest Post from Christine Chambers  (PhD, RPsych) who is a Canada Research Chair in Pain and Child Health and  Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology at Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre. Christine is also a psychologist who has worked to support children in pain and their families. She studies the role of developmental and psychological factors in children’s pain. She is part of the Help Eliminate Pain in Kids (HELPinKIDS) team, an interdisciplinary group of clinicians, scientists, policy makers and educators. Their goal is to improve the use of pain-relieving interventions during routine childhood vaccination. For more information about Christine's work in children's pain go to:

Almost all children are afraid of getting shots and needles. And most parents dread having to take their children to the doctor or hospital for these painful procedures. There are many things parents can do to help their children have less pain during needles (e.g., use of topical anaesthetic creams, distraction, and deep breathing). But most parents don’t know what these things are or how to use them to reduce pain. Fewer than 5% of children receive any kind of pain relieving intervention for immunizations and one in 10 children and adults has a significant fear of needles.

So together with a team of researchers and clinicians, as well as communications experts, the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research created this YouTube video for parents: It Doesn’t Have to Hurt: Strategies for Helping Children with Shots and Needles.  We wanted to create a fun, light-hearted, and engaging new video that would get parents interested in learning more about how they can help. In this video a young child advises her mom on some simple things that parents can do—and shouldn't do—to help make the experience less stressful and painful. These tips are all backed by scientific research!

So please help us spread the word.  Watch the video and then please pass it on! 
You can:

1.       Watch the YouTube video at

2.       Fill out the anonymous survey at the end of the video

3.       Share the video with family, friends and other health care professionals, and ask them to fill out the survey. We’re on Facebook!

4.       Tweet the following message: Is your child scared of needles? Watch this video from The Centre for Pediatric Pain Research: #itdoesnthavetohurt



Thanks for your help!

For more information about children's pain check out the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research’s website ( or go to the CAPHC Knowledge Exchange Network ( to view past webinars and other information.


Ann WatkinspainComment