App to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Needles
Needle phobia is an under-reported healthcare crisis. Clinically known as trypanophobia, it is one of the top 10 American fears.
People who are afraid of needles avoid going to the doctor, skip vaccinations, avoid flu shots, and don’t donate blood.
Healthline Networks is launching a public health campaign, “Big Shots Get Shots,” to help eliminate needle phobia. Included in the campaign is the first ever app launched to help children overcome their fear of needles (www.BigShotsGetShots.com). It was announced today, Jan. 17.
Distraction helps ease pain. As part of the campaign, Healthline developed a free iPhone app to help parents distract their children while getting shots.
Research shows that needle phobia usually develops around age 4 or 5 with a traumatic immunization experience.
According to needle phobia expert Dr. Amy Baxter, “Kids today get so many more shots than they used to. A parent born in the ’60s or ’70s may have gotten six shots by age 6, but today their kids get up to 33.”
Along with downloading the free app, parents and community members are encouraged to do their part by taking the “End Needle Phobia Pledge.”
Healthline’s CEO West Shell explains, “The key to ending needle phobia is awareness, education, and action. Needle phobia must be addressed and it must be addressed on large public platforms. Fear of snakes or fear of public speaking doesn’t kill people, but fear of needles does.”
Healthline Networks provides health information services.
Healthline is to be commended for this initiative! I invented Buzzy and peppered Buzzy4shots.com with tips and facts about how to block the pain of injections. However, pain is only 1/3 of the battle, and unless folks over 30 realize that today’s pediatric needle experience is very different from when they grew up, they won’t act. Fear and attention are the other 2/3 of the equation, and Pablo the Pufferfish addresses both. Making the app free is a huge public service. Thanks for bringing attention to this issue!