Vaccines: smiling or making faces can help reduce pain
A study conducted by the University of California at Irvine (UCI) and published in the journal “Emotion” found that smiling or grimacing could reduce pain at the injection site by up to 40%: a piece of good news for children, who often have trouble getting bites.
How do we explain the benefit of this trick?? It seems that it would reduce the physiological responses induced by the stress felt when faced with needles by lowering the body’s heart rate, knowing that smiling has already been shown to improve responses to stress. “When faced with pleasure or distress, humans create remarkably similar facial expressions by raising the cheeks, stimulating the eye muscles, and showing the teeth. », Explains Professor Sarah Pressman, principal investigator of the study. “We have found that these movements, as opposed to a neutral expression, are beneficial in reducing stress and discomfort. ”
A simple method to make the injection less unpleasant
As for grimacing, that facial expression known to occur naturally during stress and pain shares some of the same facial action characteristics as smiling. The study involved 231 people (adults) who reported distress in response to a 25 gauge needle, the same one used in a typical flu shot. These were divided into several groups to hold either a sincere smile called a “Duchenne smile”, a classic smile, a grimace, or a neutral expression while receiving an injection of saline solution. Researchers helped them set up these expressions with chopsticks placed in the mouth in different ways.
Their heart rate and electrodermal activity were collected continuously alongside the self-reports of pain, emotion, and distress at the sting. People in the Duchenne smile and grin group reported that the injection hurt half as much as those in the “neutral” group, indicating that these facial expressions can make a positive difference and improve pain experienced from a needle. Duchenne’s smile was also associated with a significantly lower heart rate. “Our study shows a simple, free, and clinically meaningful method to make the injection less excruciating,” notes Prof. Pressman.
She concludes: “She concludes, “Given the many conditions of pain and anxiety that we encounter in medical practice, we hope that a smile will help directly enhance pain reduction.” strategies that will result. through better experiences for patients. “Note that the researchers did not specify whether this process could be applied during blood tests, which is a sensitive and difficult situation for patients suffering from “hate phobia,” or the so-called irrational fear.. of needles while waiting for scientists are developing a vaccination process that would do without it completely.
An interesting avenue to suggest to our children (for babies, it will take a few years…) for their future vaccines.
Baby vaccines: tips to make sure everything goes well on the big day
We play down the appointment with the pediatrician
Vaccines are good for children! They help train and structure their immune system by building antibodies to fight disease. If we panic too much at the idea of the injection, don asks the dad or a loved one to take over: the stress is communicative and the child may feel our anxiety.
I make sure my baby is not sick
Runny nose, slight fever, diarrhea… are small symptoms that do not formally contraindicate vaccination. However, for his comfort, it is best to postpone the appointment for a few days, time to make sure that a major illness does not emerge on the horizon.
Namely: no vaccine recommended will aggravate a mild illness that has already been declared. On the contrary, a vaccine-like Prevenar, against pneumococci, helps reduce the number of ear infections
We choose the time of the pediatrician appointment
If hungry or tired, the baby will have a harder time coping with this little ordeal. You must therefore choose the day and time of the appointment carefully, without forgetting to take into account the waiting time that there may be with some doctors.
As much as possible, we avoid having to run, both before and after the consultation. Baby will surely need comfort and calm to recover from his emotions.
We explain to him what awaits him
Even if he is very small, he can understand. We explain to him what the doctor is going to do, telling him that it may not be very pleasant, but that we are there. Our soft voice will comfort him!
We use pain-relieving tips
To anticipate the possible pain associated with the sting, the application of a numbing cream or patch (such as Emla, for example), one or two hours before the appointment, may be effective. Products are available on prescription in pharmacies. Some doctors or pharmacists recommend giving baby sugar water instead.
We do not forget his blanket!
Soft toy, soft toy, favorite toy … a familiar object will always reassure him. The pacifier, if he has one, is also to slip into his things.
Just before the consultation, you can give her a bottle of sugar water, then the pacifier: sucking, associated with the intake of sugar, will stimulate the production of endorphins, hormones with soothing and analgesic properties.
Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
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