Children's Fear Of Needles May Have To Do With Way Parents Behave During Immunization

It's common and totally understandable for children to fear needles.  For some, it's so overwhelming that they need a parent or guardian to hold them in bear hug or hold them down in order to get a shot. The thought of a sharp object penetrating the skin is enough to scare anyone, but new research published in the journal Pain suggests parents may actually be to blame.

After researchers at York University studied preschoolers, they found that the anxiety and fear they face in anticipation of a shot is linked to how their parents behaved just a few years ago when it was time for infant vaccinations. Other behavioral influences include the ways parents interact with their children, lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell said in astatement, "and the types of things they said to their children during infancy and at the preschool age." Riddell runs the Opportunities to Understand Childhood Hurt Laboratory at York.

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