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Explaining a Vaccination to Your Child

A vaccine is a medicine that protects your body from viruses that can make you feel sick. A vaccination is the shot of the vaccine you get into your body.

Young girl at Children's Mercy receiving a vaccination in her right arm.


Steps to getting a vaccination

  1. A nurse will clean your skin with an alcohol wipe. It is a small cloth and feels cold and wet on your skin.

    Two gloved hands rubbing a child's arm with an alcohol pad at Children's Mercy.

  2. Then, the nurse will do a small poke with a needle to put the vaccine in your body. This only takes a few seconds.

    Two gloved hands administering a vaccination into a child's arm at Children's Mercy.

  3. Next, the nurse will slide the needle out and throw it away.

  4. Then the nurse will put an adhesive bandage on you where they gave you your vaccination and you are all done.
  • Girl wearing a face mask and showing off the pink adhesive bandage on her arm after receiving a vaccination at Children's Mercy.
A Buzzy® bee being applied to a child's arm.

Making needle procedures more comfortable

Before your child’s vaccination, learn about our Comfort Promise and our commitment to making your child's experience as comfortable as possible.

Vaccine Visual Schedules


Some children do best when they can track each step of the vaccine process. A visual schedule is a way to mark off what they have finished and see what is left to do. Below are two visual schedules that can be used for getting a vaccine. You can add other steps as needed for your child, like using a numbing cream or sitting on your lap.

Vaccine Visual Schedule (PDF)
Vaccine Visual Schedule - Includes Cold Spray (PDF)