Skip to main content

Making Needle Procedures More Comfortable at COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

The Comfort Promise from Children's Mercy

Kids tell us that one of the things they worry about when coming to Children’s Mercy is getting a shot or poke. We understand. Needles hurt. We want to make it better.

When we give children ways to cope during needle procedures, it can help them:

  • Have a sense of control.
  • Be part of their own care.
  • Cope with future health care events.
  • Have a better overall experience.

At Children’s Mercy, we have a plan called the Comfort Promise that will help make your child’s vaccination easier.

Monday-Friday clinics

The nurse (RN) or physician administering your child’s vaccination will offer ALL children:

  1. Comfort Positioning: We know letting kids sit upright helps provide them with comfort and a sense of control. We would like you or another caregiver (such as a RN or child life specialist) to hold your child in your lap or sit in their chosen secure and comforting position during the procedure. This provides an opportunity for you as the parent to comfort them while also helping them to remain still and safe during their procedure.


  2. Distraction: We will help you distract your child by helping them focus on something fun. Common choices include music, phones, listening to a favorite playlist, using a hand-held game, or watching a video. Playing counting games or games such as I Spy, singing and telling jokes are also fun and do not require supplies.


And then right before the injection:

  1. Cold spray: Numbs the skin.

  2. ShotBlocker®: Distracts pain signals to the brain.


If your child has previously done well with needle procedures the Monday-Friday clinic process is likely to work great for your child.

Our Comfort for Needle Procedures handout offers additional things families can do or practice before arriving to the clinic, like applying a numbing medicine, in order to make the vaccination experience better.

Saturday clinics

We know that some kids are OK with shots, but others find them very frightening and may struggle. For these reasons, we will have two options available for you and your child at our COVID-19 Saturday vaccine clinics.


  1. If your child has previously done well with needle procedures, you will choose Lane #1 which is identical to the Monday-Friday clinic process listed above.

  2. If your child has struggled previously with shots and you would like them to have additional support and time with a child life specialist or nurse, you will choose Lane #2.

Children with complex needs

If your child’s needs are more complex (e.g., he or she has a needle phobia or sensory issues), we would like to talk to you before you arrive to the vaccination clinic.

Please call (816) 983-6870, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to leave a message for a team member to call you back to discuss a needle plan for your child.

You may also contact us at or via the Children’s Mercy Patient Portal: Child Life Messages.

We promise to do everything we can to eliminate pain – one poke at a time.