Every parent dreads it — holding the baby still while a nurse or technician pushes a needle into the tender flesh of a plump little thigh. The screams are bad enough — add the guilt at knowingly inflicting pain, even with the knowledge that a moment of discomfort is warding off death or weeks of illness.
But what if there was another way? What if a little clear patch arrived by mail, one that could be stuck onto the child's back and then would dissolve painlessly? Baby's protected, no one cries and everyone is saved the time and expense of an office visit. Several labs are working to make it happen.
Not only would it ease distress, but Dr. Erin Giudice, a pediatrician at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, thinks it might help fight a growing resistance to vaccination.
"Obviously, for little kids vaccination is very scary and we come at them with a big needle every time they need a vaccine," Giudice said in a telephone interview.
Image: Child getting vaccine, via Shutterstock.