Help with Shots?

Anyone have good ideas for making shots easier to handle. My 9 year old is starting to self administer, and often does great, but occasionally has difficulty, nearly poking the needle through the skin then backing out, it looks very painful, then he begins to get upset. We try to get him to calm down, even if it means walking away for a couple of minutes. Any practical ideas to reduce pain?

Fifty50 sells a shotblocker – I would certainly spend $7 if it was worth a chance. What about a numbing spray like Dermoplast? Amazon sells an item similar to shotblocker called Buzzy – sounds like it involves coolness, pressure AND a small vibration rather than just a plastic pressure with shotblocker. However, at 30+ I don’t want to waste on a useless gadget – if it made a difference, for others, though, I would strongly consider.

Any other thoughts? I hate to see him discouraged. I know it all stinks, and I know sometimes this is just him FEELING the frustration and discouragement, but want to do anything I can…
Thank you for any thoughts.
Katie, Mom of Timmy, 9, diagnosed over Memorial Day 2014

First, know that I’m sorry about your son’s diagnosis. You’re smart to help him learn how to give his own injections. Just check in with him and see what helps. Occasionally give him a break and do the injections for him for a weekend. Know too that your son still has a bright, good future ahead of him. It will just be different with diabetes.

I’m 41 now and still remember being 5-years-old and holding the syringe over my leg, trying to force myself to inject. Kind of like pulling out a tooth. You are right that the struggle is both psychological and physical. It helped me to learn different methods to give injections. Some people jam the needle in, some set it on the skin and sort of push it in. See what your doctor, diabetes educator, etc. can teach. Everyone has their own preferences. I also think it’s good to have injection breakthroughs, like when you try to inject in different parts of the body, or in non-traditional places like on camping trips. I’ve injected in movie theaters, on subways, at traffic lights while driving, etc. That’s life with diabetes.

A lot of kids use numbing sprays. I didn’t do that but would use the fingertips of my free hand to lightly rub the skin about 3 inches around the injection site to defer the pain while I held the syringe in for about 10 seconds to act like a cork and prevent leak back. At home I also like distraction and use that when putting in my insulin pump infusion sets. I’ll turn on a tv show or music to relax me and make sure the spot I’m injecting to is relaxed.

There are also gadgets to help. The iPort is a little catheter that stays in the same spot about 3 days so the needle slides in there for all injections. There are also automatic injectors for syringes. Contact the syringe manufacturer to find out if they sell one. That won’t help with an insulin pen, but the needles on pens are so small you really can’t feel them and injecting with them is pretty easy.