Distraction App Launches to Distract Kids While Getting Shots

Distraction App Launches to Distract Kids While Getting Shots

Needle phobia is an under-reported healthcare crisis. Clinically known as trypanophobia, it is one of the top 10 American fears. People who are afraid of needles avoid going to the doctor, skip vaccinations, avoid flu shots, and don't donate blood. Healthline Networks is launching the groundbreaking public health campaign, "Big Shots Get Shots," to help eliminate needle phobia. Included in the campaign is the first ever app launched to help children overcome their fear of needles (www.BigShotsGetShots.com).

Distraction helps ease pain. As part of the campaign, Healthline developed an innovative, free iPhone app to help parents distract their children while getting shots. Research shows that needle phobia usually develops around age 4 or 5 with a traumatic immunization experience. According to needle phobia expert Dr. Amy Baxter, "Kids today get so many more shots than they used to. A parent born in the '60s or '70s may have gotten six shots by age 6, but today their kids get up to 33."

Dr. Rich Carmona, 17th U.S. Surgeon General, emphasizes the need for more awareness saying, "As Surgeon General, I saw the impact of needle phobia first hand. In a country where we spend more on healthcare than any other nation in the world, our metrics put us somewhere between 25th and 40th in terms of life expectancy, childhood vaccinations, maternal child mortality and things like that. We have to step back and ask: 'Where are we missing the boat here?' I think part of the answer is that many of our children don't complete their immunization series. Decreasing fear of needles can certainly help."

Along with downloading the free app, parents and community members are encouraged to do their part by taking the "End Needle Phobia Pledge." Healthline's CEO West Shell explains, "The key to ending needle phobia is awareness, education, and action. Needle phobia must be addressed and it must be addressed on large public platforms. Fear of snakes or fear of public speaking doesn't kill people, but fear of needles does."

Healthline Networks is the fastest growing provider of intelligent health information services, enabling 100 million consumers a month to make more confident, informed healthcare decisions.