Sugar soothes babies during immunisations

Tags: Children

Mary Poppins may have been on to something when she sang about a spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down.

Experts who have looked at the available medical evidence say giving babies a little bit of sugary water to suck on while they are having their vaccinations helps comfort them during the ordeal.

Researchers for the Cochrane Collaboration – an independent, international group that assesses best medical care – looked at 14 different studies involving more than 1,500 babies to see what effect, if any, sugar had.

Infants who had been given a sugar drink cried less than those given water as they went for their jabs.

The researchers say it is unclear whether sugar actually reduces pain, but it does appear to have a pacifying effect.

Although some parents may be anxious about getting their baby immunised, it is the most effective way of protecting a child against serious infectious diseases like measles, rubella and whooping cough.

Vaccinations are quick, safe and extremely effective. Once your child has been vaccinated against a disease, their body can fight it more effectively if they do come into contact with it.

Visit the rest of our Pregnancy and Caring for your Children Centre for more information on different childhood diseases or post any questions you might have on immunisation to one of our online experts.

Source © Trio Media 2012

back to top

Ask the expert

Got a question about health or wellbeing?
Our team of medical experts are ready to help.