Scout Gets a Shot

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Scout's Story

Scout with her mom, looking at a fish tank in the doctor's office
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Hi. I'm Scout. Last week I went to the doctor's office for my checkup. While I was there I had to get a shot.

Now, I'm just a regular kid. So I don't really like shots! Some people call them "vaccinations" or "immunizations." I don't care what people call them. They're still not very fun.

But I learned some things about why kids need shots. And I learned how to get ready for having one. That made things a little easier this time.

Scout thinks about her baby brother and about doing a handstand in the pool
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I already knew that shots help me stay healthy. Staying healthy means I can keep doing fun things. It means I can play with friends at the park and go swimming at the city pool. Those are some of my favorite ways to have fun.

A new thing I learned is that when I get shots, I help keep OTHER people healthy too. Like my cute, squishy, teeny-tiny baby brother! When I get a shot, it helps me protect HIM from germs that could make him extra sick. That makes me feel like a very good big sister.

Scout thinks about her baby brother pinching her on the arm
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It's true that shots can hurt a little. To me, a shot feels like a pinch. It feels like when my baby brother pinches me. He's strong! The good thing is, shots don't hurt for very long. Sometimes after a shot, my arm feels a little sore the next day, but that's it. It's not like when I get a scraped knee or something. That keeps hurting for days!

I think one of the hardest parts about getting a shot is waiting for it to happen. My brain starts thinking about it too much and picturing what it will be like. Then, when it's over, it's never as bad as my brain thought it would be.

Scout points at her right arm while her mom holds up books to choose from
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Here's what happened.

Before we went to the doctor's office, I made a plan with my mom for how to be ready for the shot. When we got to the doctor's office, I told the nurse about my plan right away.

I said, "I choose my right arm for the shot. And I want to sit on the tall table that has the paper on it and hug my mom while the shot happens."

I used to like to sit in the low chair on my mom's lap. Now that I'm bigger, I like the tall table better.

Scout sits on a tall table, hugging her mom and reading a book
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My mom stood next to me while I sat on the tall table. I hugged her while we read my favorite book. It's the one about the fish who learns to fly.

Sometimes we sing songs together instead of reading. Or we take a really big breath, and then puff out all the air while the shot happens. I like to try different things to see what works best.

Scout gets a shot in her arm and then gets a bandage
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I don't like to watch the shot happen. But some kids like to see it, and that's okay too!

While my mom read, the nurse cleaned a spot on my arm with a little wet paper. Then she gave me the shot and put a bandage on my arm. Then we were done! It was fast.

Scout with her mom as the nurse gives Scout a high five
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Sometimes getting a shot makes me cry a little. It's okay to cry if something hurts.

This time I didn't cry. The nurse gave me a high five, and I got to pick out some stickers.

She said, "Scout, you did such a great job today! You had a very good plan for how to be ready for your shot."

I felt proud of being ready and of being brave. I'm glad it will be a little while before I need a shot again. The next time I have a shot, I won't worry too much. I know what happens and how to make a plan!

That's Scout's story about getting a shot. What can you do to get ready for your shot? Do you know what you want to do while the shot happens? What will make you feel better when it's over?

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.