Wouldn’t it be incredible if I told you that there was a drug-free device that took away most, if not all, of the pain felt by children when receiving injections? Well, the great news is, there is… Buzzy4Shots!
The day I saw Buzzy’s potential
A 4 year old girl, Ava* presented with symptoms that suggested she may have meningitis. She was highly irritable and unwilling to let anyone near her. I used a few of my ‘ice breaker’ tools to help build a relationship and trust with her quickly. Her Mum told me that, ‘she is scared of the ‘N’ word (needle) and is worried she will be having one.’
Unfortunately for Ava there was no alternative, she was getting a needle. So I began preparing for it immediately by putting the numbing gel over 4 possible sites for an intravenous drip.
As I placed the gel on, I explained to her Mum, ‘I am going to discuss the needle now because there is no avoiding it. She will more than likely cry about the situation and that is OK. In fact, I encourage it. We have about half an hour before it will happen. This will give her a chance to process the idea.’
I turned to Ava and began to tell her about what was happening. As expected, she began to cry and beg me to find another way. I gently explained that there was no other option so together, we would find ways to make it NOT hurt as much. Then I told her, ‘I have a special secret weapon!’ Ava stopped crying, ‘OK’, she said and I unveiled Buzzy.
I demonstrated how to use Buzzy- how to turn him ON and OFF. I also told her that I wanted her to become really friendly with him. I gave her a trauma doll to practice the procedure on as well, which she took on with great enthusiasm.
When it came time for her shot she was well acquainted with Buzzy and had been adequately prepared with a number of my other tried and tested techniques. She was ready. As the needle went in, I turned Buzzy on for the last time. Ava felt a little sting but was able to remain calm and keep her arm still. Buzzy and the preparation had worked and we all sighed with relief!
Who is Buzzy Bee?
Buzzy was developed by Dr. Amy Baxter, a Paediatric Emergency Physician & Pain Researcher, who wanted to find ways to control needle pain. She wanted to develop reusable products that could be used in the hospital and home. In 2009, Buzzy was officially unveiled to the world!
Icey wings for cooling & pain relief
Ice packs have long been used in effective pain management. In fact, studies have proven that when someone places their hand in an ice cold bucket, they are able to tolerate pain in other parts of their body. This is probably because the brain perceives the frozen hand as so intense it leaves little room to register the other pain. Buzzy has this covered- he comes with freezable wings! In fact, about 60% of the pain relief in children and adults is provided by Buzzy’s icey wings.
Buzzy’s ice packs only take 30 minutes to freeze in a good freezer and should be used when frozen solid.
Distraction devices are an absolute MUST for injections. If you are interested in finding out more about distraction, I talk about it in more detail in my new eBook. Buzzy takes this one step further though! He allows for distraction cards (sold separately) with fun games on them to be attached AND he vibrates during the injection to disrupt the nerve pathway causing your child to feel the needle pain a little less, if at all!
What does it cost?
With Australian children getting up to 12 shots between the age of 0 and 4 years, Buzzy is a worthwhile investment. A Buzzy Home-Use Basic Pack only costs $65.99 that works out to only $5.50 per shot for one child! But you can use Buzzy for more than just immunisations. He also works on blood draws, insulin injections, dental treatments, IV starts, First Aid (removing splinters) and so much more! Check out this list for more info.
Research related to Buzzy
For a full list of clinical research trials about Buzzy, visit this website.
Until next time…
*name changed for privacy