Sweet water could help pain of shots for infants

With both our daughters, my wife and I have fought to see who had to hold the children when they are getting shots. It’s good natured, but both of us really want to avoid the pain it inflicts on us to be the parent when our children have even the fleeting pain of needle pricks for vaccinations.

A new study in the BMJ journal Archives of Disease in Childhood may have an answer for us. A drink of sweetened water apparently eases the pain of shots and reduces crying in infants up to the age of 12 months. Researchers from Canada, Australia and Brazil examined the results of 14 randomized control trials involving 1,674 injections of infants to determine if sweetened water helped babies endure shots.

It was known that oral sucrose, glucose or other sweet solutions acted as painkillers for newborns during procedures, such as shots, that cause small amounts of pain. The researchers examined existing studies to see if the analgesic effect held for older children.

They concluded that “healthcare professionals should consider sucrose or glucose before and during immunization.”

My youngest daughter is almost 9-months-old and due for another round of immunizations in late May. Maybe giving her a little sweet water in advance is worth a shot.