Sugar helps ease pain of baby immunisations

A small sweet dose before an immunisation jab can help reduce pain and crying, says study


Babies who have a small dose of a sucrose or glucose solution before having an immunisation jab feel less pain and cry less, researchers claim.


Babies given a 30% glucose solution before a jab were less likely to cry than babies who had been given either water or no treatment. The time babies spent crying was also reduce by 10% when given a sucrose or glucose solution.

The babies were given between a few drops and half a teaspoon in the various trials, though the study hasn’t determined what the best amount is. Not quite that spoonful of sugar Mary Poppins sung about!

“Healthcare professionals should consider using sucrose or glucose before and during immunisation,” the report, published in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood, concluded.


The results come from a study of 14 clinical trials involving babies aged 1–12 months and a total of 1,674 jabs. Ouch!


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