vaccination band-aid being applied

Fear of Needles

Dear Dr. Expert,

We have to get our vaccinations this week at school and I’m freaking out! Every time I have to get a shot, I feel like I’m going to pass out.  And I actually have a couple of times! I’m going to be mortified if I faint in front of everyone. What should I do?

Freaking in Fernie

Dr. Expert: Dear Freaking in Fernie,

You are not alone – certain people do faint at the sight of needles or blood sometimes. This is because of a sudden drop in blood pressure that just happens to some people. The good news is that there is something you can do to stop yourself from fainting. It’s called the Applied Tension Technique.  All you need to do is try and tense all the muscles in your body and hold it for 10 to 15 seconds.  Then, relax your whole body for about 20 seconds. This increases your blood pressure, so you don’t faint. Do these five times in a row before getting the needle or when you start to feel lightheaded. For more information click here (link to our Applied Tension pdf from adult stuff). Good luck!