When my daughter was much younger, she had to suffer through a lot of allergy testing and allergy injections (sometimes as many as three a week). Because this testing started when she was barely a year old, you can imagine she quickly developed a fear of needles because of the pain of the procedures. I wish Buzzy had been around then to help her deal with her years of allergy treatments. Buzzy is a cute little bee-shaped device that disrupts signals from the nerves that transmit pain sensations and helps reduce the fear of getting injections or other procedures that utilize needles. It was developed by Dr. Amy Baxter, a mom and pediatric ER physician, who noticed how numb her hands were after driving a car with a vibrating steering wheel. Realizing that she could use the body’s own “gate control”, in which the messages from the larger cold and vibration nerves crowd out smaller pain nerve sensations when both are felt simultaneously, to help her son overcome his fear of injections. She tested her theory using bags of frozen peas and a personal massager, then she combined what she had learned into a small, friendly-looking little vibrating bee with a small ice pack. Simply place Buzzy near an injection spot or even near the spot for inserting an IV needle, and patients report they don’t even feel the pain of the needle stick. Buzzy is available with stripes or as a more discrete solid black, and you can even get kits with a cooler bag to keep the ice packs cold until they are needed. There are also kits for healthcare providers. (Note: the home version has little wing-shaped ice packs. The image shows Buzzy being used with a disposable ice pack that a care provider would use.) Prices begin at $39.95.
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