For parents, the experience of taking their child to the pediatrician or hospital for necessary vaccinations or tests involving a series of shots is a time of anxiety and stress. In fact, ten percent of both children and adults have a significant needle phobia. Often, this is because the pain with getting shots with needles is managed poorly, if it is even managed at all.
Fewer than five percent of children receive any kind of pain relief during routine immunizations, even though research shows that there are simple, no-cost solutions that work. That’s according to clinical psychologist and researcher Christine Chambers, PhD at the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research in Halifax, Canada. Chambers’ research focuses on the undertreatment of pain in children, and she says that pain from shots can have long-term effects and needs to be managed, not ignored, in doctors’ offices and hospitals.
Beyond her clinical work and research, she began to advocate for children in pain through her Mayday Fellowship in 2012, a Fellowship established to engage pain care experts in advocacy and outreach to improve pain care in the United States and Canada. The Fellowship is supported by The Mayday Fund (Burness client), a foundation dedicated to reducing human suffering from pain.
In her quest to make parents and health professionals more aware of this information, Burness worked with her to create a fun, light-hearted YouTube video called “It Doesn’t Have to Hurt: Strategies for Helping Children with Shots and Needles.” The video has had more than 26,000 viewers in the span of two weeks and professional pain and parenting societies and organizations, as well as Mommy bloggers, continue to share it widely on Facebook and Twitter.