Buzzy® Helps for Vaccinations

Immunizations Age 4 and Up

Pain relief for immunizations, particularly multiple injections, requires a variety of different techniques. 

How to use Buzzy® for Injections and Immunizations: Because there's no risk of shrinking blood vessels, pain control is maximized by using Buzzy’s ice wings to cool/numb and vibration to desensitize the area directly for 30-60 seconds, then move Buzzy® just proximal (toward the head or spine) during the shot. When injections burn, the pain can be relieved by rubbing Buzzy’s cold and vibration over the area after the medicine is in. 
Put an arm around your child age 4+ and hold Buzzy® on the site (red dot in the picture) for about 30 seconds before the shot.  Even with Buzzy® there will be dull touch sensations (those are transmitted on different nerves that Buzzy® doesn’t block) so use distraction questions or [DistrACTION® cards]LINK TO CARDS ON STORE to entertain and pull attention away if the child  already has a[ needle phobia] LINK TO NEEDLE PHOBIA PAGE.  Video here demonstrates in 8 year old child.
When the injection is ready, move the Buzzy® up and keep pressing on the nearest bony surface to maximize vibration transmission. If multiple immunizations are being given, change out the cold packs on each arm so the sites each have 30 seconds of numbing.

Buzzy® decreased pain 73% for children aged 7 getting a single TDap immunization.  In one adult group average age 64, 84% found the flu vaccine to be painless with Buzzy, and 88% said they’d use Buzzy® again. However, children’s pain level increases the more injections they get on the same day.   

For younger children aged 4-6 who are getting multiple injections, distraction is a critical part. Use the Buzzy® ice pack on the site, but consider using the vibration of Buzzy® to play the “Elbow Game” as seen in this video.

Kids do best if they’re under-promised and Buzzy® then over-performs.   Let children play and experiment with Buzzy® to get used to the sensations before using it for shots, and reserve the distraction cards for if the elbow game isn’t feasible.   When children are getting a single injection, Buzzy® should be sufficient.  If getting multiple injections, plan to use more [pain management techniques.]LINK TO PAIN MANAGEMENT PAGE

Buzzy® can be held in place with a tourniquet or Velcro strap, and can also be placed in the palm of the nurse’s hand leaving fingers free to bunch up skin.

“Buzzy® deserves some serious recognition! We used it for our vaccinations (twins = 2x’s the stress for kiddos and Mom) and I have to say WOW! This really works. Neither of my boys even batted an eye during the shot. This product works, and I am eternally thankful for making our visits to the doctor so much less stressful. Thank you Buzzy!” – Ashley Y-G
“… here goes with my raving (completely unsolicited) testimonial:  My daughter is extremely needle-phobic. It can take several adults to hold her down to give her a shot, and she is so irrational that will try to kick and hit even several minutes after the shot has been given. Yesterday, her pediatrician …introduced Mr Buzzy® Bee.  I could not have anticipated how well it would go! My daughter sat there calmly all by herself, didn’t hit or kick anyone, and once the shot was done she commented in amazement, “I felt the ice pack more than I felt the shot!”...I think she’s finally going to be OK about them :-)Thank you!” – Susan

Medical Press:
Buzzy® recommended in American Academy of Pediatrics Immunization Initiatives (see Page 2)
Contemporary Pediatrics: Best New Tech 2011 and 2013

IMMUNIZATIONS 4 years and younger
Published data on the efficacy of Buzzy® is only available down to age 4.  Because their skin is much thinner, younger children may be sensitive to cold, causing more distress.  Data suggests Buzzy® may decrease crying in infants and younger children receiving antibiotic injections or immunizations, but the pain relief on average is less than for older children. 

One hand Buzzy® technique for under 18 months injections in the thigh.

“Buzzy® has made my son’s, Zachary’s, set of 18 month and 2 year shots SO much easier (for him and me!). He especially likes the distraction cards! And I have sung your praises to my family & friends on Facebook and will continue to do so! Thank you all SO much for doing this great thing!! :)” Jennifer W.

Resources for infant vaccinations:
video on how to reduce the pain of vaccination in babies and downloadable vaccination pain management pocket guides (one for babies and one for children > 1 year) in English and French. (by Dr. Anna Taddio)
video showing how sucrose and breastfeeding can be easily used to reduce pain from vaccination in babies (by Dr. Denise Harrison)
A really adorable video for parents in which a young child advises her mom on some simple things that parents can do—and shouldn’t do—to help make shots less stressful and painful. (by Dr. Christine Chambers)

CDC Vaccines and Immunizations Centers for Disease Control’s Vaccines and Immunizations web site HOME PAGE Child Health Specialists Library - The library addresses a wide range of topics related to the health and well being of children. It is primarily aimed at professionals involved in the care of children, but it is hoped that it will be of value to all users when seeking information on a wide variety of aspects of child health.

Supplemental Videos:
TEDx – Dr. Amy Baxter -  Vaccine pain, empathy, and public health OR, Research reveals why great parents began refusing vaccination.
TEDMED – Dr. Amy Baxter - Needle pain, fear, and opting out of vaccination – where do we go from here?
From one clinician in the field with 30 years of experience:

  • What specific comfort positions have you found to be conducive to administering mulitple immunizations at the same time?–I’m especially interested in the 0-1 year old and 4-6 year old ages. We have found the best comfort position is in the parents lap. I will let the child choose the chair or table by themselves or mom/dads lap. They usually choose the parents lap. I explain if they sit by themselves they need to hold very very still and usually have parents hold their hands, sometimes we have them sit on their hands. We use this for ages 1-9 or older if they choose.  After they are in position, I explain BUZZY and ice wings, and how he works,(explain, we use him so you don’t notice the poke so much) get them in place, then let them choose a sound book to look at and we start reading. After BUZZY has been on about 1 minute ,move BUZZY up higher on the thigh, instruct parent to hold wrists, crisscross on chest (especially the toddler age) so they don’t reach down and help and also give their child a big hug. Sometimes I have time to talk them about blowing during the pokes, that helps to relax the muscles also. When the nurse is done I ask the child to turn BUZZY off (to distract and let them know we’re done.)Many times they are ready to go after that.  If they are still upset I will blow bubbles for them, then encourage them to blow bubbles and blow the hurt away.

Sometimes we need to finish the book before I leave and I remind them to keep moving their legs by running, jumping and playing today to make their legs feel better. Also praise them for being so brave and holding still. Many times the nurse will be holding the child’s legs with their legs,  nurse sitting on chair, child’s back to Moms chest, I hold BUZZY and book while Mom holds wrists. Our nurses are very quick, we usually give 3-5 shots. Infants 0-12 months, I have been encouraging the nurses to let the parents hold their infants. Explain to parents that holding their baby gives their child comfort and helps them cope with the pain and helps to build trust. We have also discuss that mom can breast feed if she would like. I have a few nurses that will ask me to distract with this age, I will use light wands, bubbles, sounds books, and sometimes BUZZY, letting child hold him or putting BUZZY on the tummy. 10 -14 years old, BUZZY and ice wings usually works very well for this age. I will also use an I Spy book for distraction. They can choose to sit in parents lap or alone if they are still.  They also can choose to  use arms(if they are big) or legs.  I explain the same using more age appropriate language. I also will talk more to them about keeping their muscles loose and how they can do that and why it is important.

  • Please share any other information or thoughts that you may find helpful to me!…Any interesting distraction ideas, tips for educating parents or staff, etc. I don’t usually use the ice wings  for the 2,3 and some 4 year olds. You have to asses quickly with child and if they can tolerate it.  We are honest with the kids about the pokes, they know they are getting them, letting know there are different ways of coping to make it better for them, some need to watch, some its better if they don’t. When they have a job to help the nurse it gives then some control, ex. Your job is to hold very still or blow, mom’s job is to give you a big hug and help you hold still. We have found parents can hold better when they hold the child’s wrist not hands and toddlers don’t twist their body as easily when the arms are crisscrossed. I have been a Child Life Specialist in the Hospital for 30 years and have moved to our Pediatric clinic the last couple of years.  It is a wonderful new learning experience! It has been exciting to see the changes in the nurses also. We went from holding the child down on the table, with 2-3 nurses to now nurses are blowing bubbles for their patients to help calm them in the weigh stations and getting books to distract them if I’m not available. They will also use BUZZY without me!  If a child has a hard time coming to the clinic I will suggest to the parents to do medical play with the children at home and explain how to do that. I have also been talking to the nurses about giving choices to the child when appropriate and when they don’t have choices and the language they use with that in mind.  Kay Mjolsness, CCLS Sanford Childrens Hospital SW Pediatric Clinic Fargo, ND 58103
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