The week's best parenting advice: November 2, 2021

Prepping kids for vaccines, an 'off-ramp' for masking, and more

(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

1. Prepping kids for vaccines

The federal vaccination program for children ages 5 to 11 will be fully operational on Nov. 8, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said Monday. The Food and Drug Administration signed off Friday on emergency-use authorization for coronavirus vaccines for kids in that age group, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's leadership is expected to give the final go-ahead. If your child is freaked out by shots, Nia Heard-Garris, M.D. suggests exposing them to needles "starting a few weeks before their appointment." This could be done through reading relevant books or even by bringing them along to a vaccination appointment for mom or dad. Book their appointment for a time when stress levels are likely to be low. And if all else fails, try good, old-fashioned distraction, which has been proven "effective in reducing distress and pain related to needles," Heard-Garris tells The New York Times.

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Jessica Hullinger

Jessica Hullinger is a writer and former deputy editor of The Week Digital. Originally from the American Midwest, she completed a degree in journalism at Indiana University Bloomington before relocating to New York City, where she pursued a career in media. After joining The Week as an intern in 2010, she served as the title’s audience development manager, senior editor and deputy editor, as well as a regular guest on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast. Her writing has featured in other publications including Popular Science, Fast Company, Fortune, and Self magazine, and she loves covering science and climate-related issues.