One of my favorite tips for getting kids comfortable with medical procedures is to let them be empowered. Giving them some control, whenever possible, can alleviate anxiety, and put them in a completely different frame of mind.
When it comes to shots, letting the child choose the location (even as small of a choice as which arm or leg) or making them part of the process can demystify the procedure, and make it less scary. Reducing the pain can help decrease the dread associated with the procedure.
As promised, today I am going to tell you about a product that helps do both.
This is NOT a sponsored post, and does not contain affiliate links. We use this product, and have for a few years. It is something we believe in, and that is why I want to share it with you. I want your children to Bee-empowered too.
Meet Buzzy Bee.
Early into our JA journey, we heard about Buzzy through the grapevine. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure if it was a gimmick. I had heard a few mixed reviews, but with shots in our home increasing from two per week to two per day, and positive attitudes steadily declining, I decided to give it a go.
Best. Decision. Ever.
My kids were a little older, they decided that it would be best if I ordered the “grown up” version, the plain black buzzy. It also comes in a cute ladybug version if that strikes your fancy. The black one was perfect for us, because that way, my macho preteen boys could keep their tough man rep when we used it in a hospital or doctors office setting. For a while I just carried it around in my purse, whether I thought we would need it or not. It was a security blanket for surprise pokes (of which there were many.)
Our first few uses of the buzzy were a bit disappointing. Son #1 thought it helped, but not as much as he had hoped. Son #2 was just impatient. Our results were less than stellar because we fell into a familiar trap. We pulled it out of the package, turned it on, and used it.
We didn’t read (or follow) the directions. Doh!
Because we didn’t follow the instructions, we didn’t have the very best results. When we did…. wow. The difference was night and day. Understanding the science and “why” behind the way Buzzy worked, made using it much, much more effective. (click here if you would like to see a summary of the clinical research)
Basically, the combination of cold and vibration confuses the nerves that transmit pain from the site of the poke to the brain. Cold and vibration numb the area (be sure to leave Buzzy on for the recommended length of time!) then by moving the buzzy up (secured with the velcro strap- which our first few times was mistake #2- just taking it off rather than moving it above the injection site) between the source of the pain and the nerve pathway to the brain, takes advantage of something known as the “Gate Control Theory of Pain.” By confusing the nerves, distracting from the pain and interrupting the neural pain pathways, Buzzy can dull, reduce and even eliminate the sharp pain from shots and/or the sting from many medications ( that is if you follow the directions and do it right, like we learned to later!)
The makers of Buzzy recently produced a few videos to show you exactly how its done.
It’s important to understand where the nerve pathway that you are trying to disrupt travels (your doctor or nurse can help you with this initially.) As you can see for finger sticks, the area to use Buzzy is different than the actual site of the injection. A bit of cold for a few minutes at the site of the poke, followed by a properly placed Buzzy, is very effective.
We have also found Buzzy to work well when used to reduce the irritation associated with hives, bug bites and other irritations. Bonus!
Buzzy is a great product, not just for JA kids, but for anyone who suffers through pokes, pricks and needle sticks. Healthy kids will love it for routine immunizations. Diabetic kids can use it for finger sticks. Adults are even finding Buzzy helpful for routine (or not so routine) procedures. According to the company website, currently over 1200 hospitals and 34,000 users have adopted Buzzy as part of their pain management tool kit.
Don’t you wish you could too?
You can! Buzzy is available without a prescription, from multiple online retailers (like Amazon- as featured in the Living with JA shop) as well as directly through the company website. Better yet, I’m giving one away! You can be the lucky winner of your very own Buzzy. Check back soon for more details. If you are already a Buzzy user, I would love to hear about it in the comments!