3 protips for supporting your kids to get the vaccine

While moral calm explains why many moms aren’t rushing to get their children vaxxed, here’s how you can prepare if you’re pro public health.

That is the question. With the vaccine currently available for kids aged 5 to 11, it’s surprising that only a third of parents say they’ll vax their kids right away…or is it? It seems the trend holds true for parents of kids aged 12 to 17 too. Only 59% of teens in this age group have received at least one dose. Enter: moral calm.

Apparently, it’s one of the mom moods of the moment. Essentially the opposite of ‘moral panic,’ moral calm is when “we might expect widespread concern about some potentially harmful phenomenon but get the absence of fear instead.” In other words, moms are asking ‘what’s the big rush?’ Considering previous headlines about kids being at low risk of COVID along with some usual suspects (like misinformation and exaggerated claims about risk), no wonder we’re feeling the standstill.

If you’re on team vax though, here’s what up

More than 60% of kids 10 or younger fear needles. To help the kiddos get over their fear hump, these pointers on the before, during and after vaccine experience will make everyone feel better:

  • Prepare them with honesty and positivity: avoid those scary words (“shots” and “pokes”) while helping them feel in control and empowered with choice. Moms, dads, doctors, nurses..we’re all here to support.
  • Curb your own anxiety and give them pain-relief pointers: before getting the vaccine, encourage your kid to take deep breaths (or even scream or cough) to alleviate the pain. Also, anxiety breeds more anxiety. Keep yours at bay.
  • Praise, learn and grow: have a hearty debrief to see if there’s something they’d do differently next time. Give them a high five or equivalent for what went well too.

If you’re heading into a ‘mixed vaxxed Thanksgiving’ next week, here’s how you might wanna prep for potentially difficult convos. Just saying.

Written by Tiffany Wen

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