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Pediatricians answer top questions on COVID vaccines for young kids

Pediatricians from Des Moines hospitals answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines for young children.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Metro kids age 5 to 11 have started receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Local 5 took questions from people about preparing their kids for the shots and went to Dr. Amy Shriver with Blank Children's Pediatrics and Dr. Abby Allard with Broadlawns Medical Center for the answers.

If you have a question about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids, send us an email or text us at 515-457-1026.

How can I mentally prepare my child for this vaccine? 

"Ways to help are to talk about the fact that vaccines are very safe and vaccines like this one will help them be better able to go to school safely, connect with their friends safely and then really to get people kind of back into the mood of being together. So really focusing on the positives." —Shriver

Should I take my child with special needs to the pharmacy or to their pediatrician to get the shot?

"If you're a parent with a child with special needs, talk to your pediatrician. Have that discussion with them. Most of the time it's going to be safe and we'll try to accommodate your child and make them as safe and comfortable as possible." —Shriver

How can I make the shot hurt less for my child? 

"Flexing really hard and then letting it go does something to our muscles where our muscles are completely activated, and when you completely activate, you're more able to completely relax. And yeah, that could definitely work for a lot of patients and families too. So really keeping your arm as relaxed as possible." —Shriver

Should I apply a topical cream on my child's arm to numb it before the shot?

"Numbing of the skin really doesn't necessarily help at all. The only case that I see where it is helpful is more as a placebo effect." —Allard

Both pediatricians suggest if a person's child is one who usually gets nervous, try distracting them. If they are younger, bring a toy or occupy them by saying the alphabet or counting. 

If they are older, talk about a topic they are interested in. 

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