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Music Lessens Kids’ Needle Anxiety

Ever have to bring a child to the doctor for a shot or IV? Anyone who’s done this knows that it can be super stressful – for parent, child and practitioner alike. While some children do react well, others are understandably apprehensive. What if you could help make the experience less stressful for your child? A study recently conducted at Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Canada showed that music can help!

Lisa Harting, the study’s lead author from University of Alberta in Edmonton, and her team tested 42 children between the ages of 3-11 in a hospital Emergency Department by either having them listen to music playing out loud or not while intravenous (IV) needles were inserted into their arms. The same music was played for each child, and children in both groups received the usual treatments to help make the procedure less painful, including pain relievers applied to the skin, and comforting words from the hospital staff during the procedure.

During the study, reviewers watched a video recording of each IV insertion on the children to measure their stress before and immediately after the procedure. Hartling and her team found that the distress level in children who listened to music was substantially less than those children who were not listening to music during the procedure. The healthcare staff administering the IV’s also stated that during the study the IV insertion was “very easy” in the group where children were listening to music as opposed to the non-music group.

There are many ways to relieve needle stress in the healthcare industry today – like the Bionix ShotBlocker. However, the music method is becoming more and more widespread in healthcare facilities today because it is cheap, easy to employ. Music is a great distraction for children - and adults, for that matter - and can easily calm and relax them. So, the next time your child has to get a shot, an IV or any other procedure may stress them out, bring their favorite music or story to help keep them distracted and calm.


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