According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in four adults has a fear of needles, which many say started when they were kids. For some people, the fear of needles is strong enough that they avoid getting important treatments, vaccines or tests. That can pose a serious problem for public health.

Researchers have helped develop a five step plan to help prevent what they call "needless pain" for kids getting injections or their blood drawn. Guest host Tom Dreisbach talks with Dr. Stefan Friedrichsdorf of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, who works with a team to implement the plan at his own hospital.

Friedrichsdorf told Short Wave that some of the most important research to eliminate pain comes from Canadian researchers. Learn more about their work here.

This episode was inspired by the reporting of our colleague April Dembosky, a journalist at member station KQED and KFF Health News. Read her digital story here.

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This episode was produced by Margaret Cirino. It was edited by our showrunner Rebecca Ramirez, who also checked the facts. Kwesi Lee was the audio engineer.