NUGGET : Giving a sweet substance to a baby before being vaccinated helps make the experience less painful, a study has found.
A spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down.
Giving sweet substances to children before a vaccination jab means they experience less pain and are more comfortable, a study has found.
Medical staff are being urged to consider giving babies a sweet drink of either sugar or glucose before immunising them because it gives an 'improved reaction' to injections.
An international team of researchers collected results from 14 trials involving almost 2,000 babies aged one year and younger.
They found that giving babies a small amount of sweet solution, compared to water or no treatment, decreased crying in 93 per cent of cases.
Senior nurse Denise Harrison, from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and one of the authors of the study, said the research had not revealed an ideal dose but added: 'Healthcare professionals responsible for administering immunisations should consider using sucrose or glucose during painful procedures.'
However, researchers from Melbourne, Australia, said the painkilling effects of sweet solutions given to older infants were more moderate than those in newborn infants.
The study was published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.