We’ve tried out both the ShotBlocker and the Buzzy Bee for shots. Both work surprisingly well at reducing the pain of an injection according to our 5-year-old. Most importantly, our 5-year-old asks us to use these when getting shots for his condition.
Both work on the same principal that distraction reduces pain. By distracting the brain with the ShotBlocker and/or Buzzy Bee, you take the brain’s focus away from the pain and your child may not even notice the injection.
To use either of these devices, you do have to work quickly. The distraction does not last long. Have your shot ready to go and then place the device in position just before you give the shot for best results.
The Buzzy Bee Pain Relief System uses vibration and cold to take the brain’s attention away from the shot. It comes with a small ice pack that attaches to the Buzzy to place against the skin. You then turn on the Buzzy and it vibrates. You place the Buzzy somewhere between the shot and the brain to disrupt the pain signals going to the brain. For example, when giving the shot in the leg, we place the Buzzy higher up on the thigh than where we give the shot.
We do not use the ice pack part of the Buzzy. We just use the Buzzy for the vibrations because my son doesn’t want anything cold touching him. For patients with CAPS or other autoinflmmatory diseases that have cold as a trigger, know that the ice pack is optional, removable, and not essential for this device to function.
See how to use the Buzzy Bee for shots in this video:
This is the first one we tried and we all were impressed. I was surprised that first time we used it how long it took before he noticed the injection happening. It was only a few seconds, but since medications used to treat fever syndromes are extremely painful, that few seconds makes a big difference. The underside that you press onto the skin has small plastic rounded nubs. When pressed gently into the skin, the brain focuses on the odd sensation rather than the injection. The center cut out gives you the perfect place to inject.
The ShotBlocker does take some practice using. A couple of times he told us we pressed too hard and it was painful. The ShotBlocker should not hurt. The nubs on the bottom should only be distracting, or maybe a little annoying to the brain.
Which One is Best?
Overall, I highly recommend both devices. In fact, our son likes us to use both at the same time. This is possible to use both for kids if your child sits still and can hold the Buzzy Bee for shots in place himself or you have another adult to help.
I wouldn’t say one works better than the other, but the ShotBlocker does have a couple of advantages. One, it’s cheaper. Second, it is easier to use when giving the injection by yourself. With one hand, you can hold the ShotBlocker and pinch the skin while giving the injection with the other hand. With the Buzzy, it’s easier to use if you have another person to hold it while you give the shot.