`Sugar can comfort babies during immunisations`

London: A cry-free jab! Next time your baby is frightened by an injection needle, pop some sugar pills in his mouth.

Studies suggest that sugar may help the medicine go down easily and a few drops can comfort babies who are taking their jabs.

Researchers reviewed 14 studies involving more than 1,500 infants going for routine childhood immunisations or a heel-prick blood test, `BBC News` reported.

Researchers said babies given a sugary solution to suck as they were about to be injected cried far less than those given water.

While sugar may pacify, it is unclear if it also relieves pain. Experts say more research is needed to explore this.

"Giving babies something sweet to taste before injections may stop them from crying for as long. Although we can`t confidently say that sugary solutions reduce needle pain, these results do look promising," lead researcher in the Cochrane review, Dr Manal Kassab of the Jordan University of Science and Technology, said.

Dr David Elliman of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said sugar solution was not used routinely in practice.
"Generally, doctors recommend that the mother holds the baby and comforts it while they have their immunisation. If she is breastfeeding still, she might want to breastfeed her baby at the same time.

"With older children we try to distract them. If you do the usual holding and comforting, I`m not sure how much sucrose would add.

"What we do know is that using a shorter needle tends to be more painful, even though this might seem counterintuitive. That`s because the injections need to go into the muscle," he said.


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