Children test CARD logo

The CARD system (Comfort, Ask, Relax, Distract) is a science-based, proven framework to help prepare children for stressful events, like school-based vaccinations, presentations, and examinations.

Anxiety Canada partnered with University of Toronto’s HELPinKids&Adults, Immunize Canada, and SickKids | AboutKidsHealth to create a free downloadable CARD toolkit for the classroom.

The toolkit has everything you need to teach your students to prepare for stressful events, like school-based vaccinations and other stressors. Educators can use the approaches to empower children and improve self-efficacy managing stress.




Students in grades 4-12 can benefit from CARD™ strategies and adapt them to different circumstances (including home, school, and healthcare environments).

The comprehensive toolkit illustrates how to apply the CARD™ framework for school-based vaccinations. You will find classroom-ready materials, such as posters, videos, simulation games, checklists, and handouts with activities and examples.

At Anxiety Canada, we help individuals better understand and manage anxiety. Learning how to prepare in advance for a stressful situation can improve the experience for children and adults. Now more than ever before, it is essential we can access resources we can trust to ease our worries.

—Judith Law, CEO, Anxiety Canada


When students play their CARDs during vaccination, they are empowered with strategies to cope with anxiety, fear, and pain. Children can fill in their own ideas on the CARDs: how they can get Comfort, what to Ask, ways to Relax, and options for Distraction. Educators, healthcare providers, and parents can use the same framework as they support students, playing their own CARDs to create a successful vaccination experience.

Share CARD’s easy-to-follow guides with parents and healthcare providers, including guides to vaccination day, talking to kids about vaccinations, using numbing creams, choosing coping strategies, and more. There are additional resources from University of Toronto HELPinKids&Adults, Immunize Canada, SickKids | AboutKidsHealth, and Anxiety Canada, including links to the CARD™ system web game for kids—a vaccine card game.


Banner describing the CARD System (Care, Ask, Relax, Distract), a system to help those with a fear of needles


Additional Resources

Looking for more resources to help children and teens cope with anxiety?

Check out Anxiety Canada’s helpful links below, covering a wide variety of useful information for teens, parents, educators, or healthcare providers.

Caretoons on YouTube – Watch new episodes of Galaxy Brain and Time Travelling Pizza. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be updated when new episodes arrive and check out our other videos!

Educator Resources – Take a look at our resources for educators on the Anxiety Canada website.

Resources about Anxiety in Youth – Find information to help youths manage anxiety, plus information and self-help strategies for multiple disorders.

Resources about Anxiety in Children – Discover practical strategies and tools that help you manage your child’s anxiety.

Check out our other free resources, such as our award-winning anxiety management app MindShift CBT, our podcast #OurAnxietyStories, our many helpful PDF resources, or the educational articles on our website.

Looking for accessible group therapy? See our MindShift CBT Groups—an 8-week online group therapy program for adults (19+).

Learn more about the CARD system at

Logos for Immunize Canada, the University of Toronto (HelpinKIDS&ADULTS), and SickKids (AboutKidsHealth), and Anxiety Canada