THE very thought of injections can spark panic in youngsters, and the fear of needles remains a common phobia even among adults.
But tears at jab time are now being consigned to the past thanks to state-of-the-art technology which is taking the sting out of injections for children.
In the same way that rubbing a bumped elbow helps stop the hurt, or cool running water soothes a burn, Buzzy works by helping to bypass sharp pain.
Designed to look like a bee and appropriately named Buzzy, the impressive equipment eliminates or dulls the pain by confusing the body’s nerves and also distracting attention away from the needle.
The Sick Kids Friends Foundation (SKFF), which supports and complements the work of the Sick Kids hospital, has paid just under £2000 to supply 43 Buzzy kits across different departments to provide drug-free pain relief for children.
Imogen Kelly, paediatric and adolescent rheumatology nurse specialist at the Sick Kids, said: “Buzzy is absolutely fantastic. It’s got ice-pack wings which decrease pain, so it is great for the children.
“Rheumatology patients often have to have weekly injections, so it’s a fantastic way of making these as painless as possible.
“Most importantly, they are fun and they are a distraction for kids who unfortunately have to spend a lot of time receiving jabs.”
Used for children aged up to 18, SKFF has provided the Sick Kids with Buzzy kits in the diabetes department, surgical day-case unit and the asthma clinic, as well as funding a distraction kit for the children’s ward at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.
Pippa Johnston, director of fundraising and marketing at SKFF, said: “The SKFF exist to transform the experiences of children and young people in hospital so they can be a child first and a patient second and the Buzzy kits fit perfectly into this aim.
“Receiving an injection can be not only painful for a child but also very frightening. We are delighted we have been able to supply this equipment in so many departments at the RHSC to try and better these experiences as much as possible.”
The SKFF distributes around £1.5 million per year at the Sick Kids and other children and young people’s community healthcare settings.
A spokesman for the manufacturers said: “Buzzy is a very cute vibrating bee with ice-pack wings that decreases sharp pain when placed upstream.
“Buzzy uses natural pain relief by confusing your body’s own nerves and distracting attention away from the poke, thereby dulling or eliminating sharp pain.
“In the same way that rubbing a bumped elbow helps stop the hurt, or cool running water soothes a burn, Buzzy works by helping to bypass sharp pain.”