Vaccination fears advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Vaccination fears advice
Thu, 05-13-2010 - 10:51am

I wasn't sure if I should post here as my DS, while he has some behaviours similar to Asperger's it has been ruled out, but I lurk here and I think that you guys might be able to give me some ideas.

My DS is being homeschooled this year due to social issues at school (either he was bullied or he was shunned by his classmates), but he says that he wants to go back next year for grade 8 (he's actually begging to go back...I must be a very boring teacher, LOL). I don't think that it's going to be as enjoyable as he envisions it will be but he's reached the age, that barring actual knowledge on my part that it will be a disaster, that I want to let him make the decision.

Here's the problem. This year his grade was scheduled to receive vaccinations (it's done through the school once children are school-aged). Not only that but this round will actually be three needles. I can contact our local health unit and have it done there but he's terrified of needles (last round was when he was five and I basically just held him still for the two he had to get at that age, while he screamed his head off) and is refusing to comply (he's way bigger and stronger now and I don't think that I can hold him down anymore, LOL).

Part of me would love to just shrug my shoulders and tell him, "Oh well, I guess no middle school next year" (I'm pretty sure that he needs up-to-date vax records to be enrolled), but I'm not anti-vax and I do feel that he should have this round of shots.

Any suggestions on how to get it done? Apparently, there is no reward that we can afford that will get him to comply. I am willing to dope him to the eyeballs for this, LOL, but I'm not sure that the health unit people or our doctor would be on board with that.

Any BTDT advice?

Avatar for littleroses
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 05-13-2010 - 2:16pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Thu, 05-13-2010 - 2:32pm

Thank you for the advice. That's exactly what I'll do.


Very true! My belief mostly stems from previous experiences with nurses, doctors, and dentists looking at me like, "Do something, mom." Meanwhile, short of hog-tying him and gagging him, there's nothing that I can do.

He needed IV antibiotics when he was 7 yo (he used to bite his toenails, and an ingrown toenail turned into blood poisoning), and it took my DH and I and a nurse to hold him down while a second nurse put the IV in. I think that the whole ER heard him screaming. The patients in the waiting room must have thought that he was having his leg amputated without anesthetic, LOL.

Anyway, like you suggested I'll put it to his doctor to advise me on how to get 'er done.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Thu, 05-13-2010 - 4:07pm

I am homeschooling my son too after pulling him out. :)

I didn't read all the responses yet, but did you know you don't have to have any vaccines to go to school? You might not want to tell your son that though!! You can ask for an exemption form, even if it's just for one shot that they aren't up to date. My daughter just started school and they needed her shot record, but I just signed the waiver. The school will call me if there is any outbreak of anything that my daughter hasn't been vax'd against.

Gotta run!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Thu, 05-13-2010 - 4:42pm
That's really good to hear, in case it's a no-go on the shots. I'd really like for him to have them, but I have to be real also.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-13-2010 - 7:28pm



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Fri, 05-14-2010 - 8:02am

Well, I've BTDT, and I wish the experience had resulted in advice that might be useful, but I don't think it has: I can only tell you from our experience with Euan (now 11, 9 when he got his last round of shots) what does and doesn't work for us.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: attending a busy public clinic, cajoling, bribery, threats, giving up and trying to come back later, when doctors look at you expecting you to sort it out, being aware of other patients/parents, offering incentives (a heartbreaking quote "there is nothing in the world that you could offer me that I would want more than I want to not have this injection")

WHAT WORKS: making a specific appointment with a specific doctor whom you trust, at a quiet time, explaining the issue ahead of time to the doctor, nurse, receptionist, anyone who'll listen, sitting down with Euan and appealing to his scientific side by giving him very structured explanations of what the vaccinations are for, how they work, what will happen, etc; EMLA cream (the topical local anaesthetic - I wouldn't discount this if you can keep him calm enough to get in on his skin because he might be able to 'watch' the needle going in without feeling it which might, in itself, be fascinating enough to overcome the terror - I say might! it worked once! LOL), sitting on him and being really *quick* (helps to have an experienced, calm doctor who'll ignore the wails and just jab him quickly and safely whilst you restrain him), gritting your teeth and really restraining him properly (it's only for a second or two, and it's much safer than trying unsuccessfully to persuade him

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