Episode 12 – Scared of needles? Science has some answers.

With vaccination rates currently a topic of daily conversation, Aleena and Janine have been looking into what factors might be behind poor vaccination rates in some settings. They are surprised to find that fear or phobia of needles could be an important contributor to vaccine hesitancy. They also got their square on when voluntary primary-school level maths practice took over at their recent lunch date.

Who gets needle fear?

How might needle fear develop?

It seems that many fears and phobias develop between ages 4 and 6. Janine summarises a super interesting study showing that children in this age range, who had multiple needles on a single day, had a much higher chance of developing needle fear, or a full-blown needle phobia. Children who only ever had single needles on any given day between ages 4 and 6 did not develop high levels of fear around needles. The study also showed that needle fear possibly reduced the likelihood that children would go on to get the HPV vaccine in their teens.

What can we do about needle fear?

Making the injection schedule as stress-free as possible for children aged 4-6 is pretty important. Wherever possible, we should probably try to avoid giving multiple needles on a single day within this age group.

What brought out our inner square?

And yes, this is quite possibly the most squarey inner square segment yet.

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