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How can I help manage my child's pain?

If your child is sick, is injured, has surgery, or has another medical procedure, he's likely to feel some pain. It's almost impossible to avoid. But a lot can be done to help your child feel better and heal well.

While your child is recovering, his healthcare providers will do everything possible to control his pain and to make him feel safe and comfortable. You can do a lot to help too. You are an important member of your child's healthcare team. While you are at your child's side, you may be the first one to notice changes. You can recognize your child's unique ways of showing pain and discomfort. You and your child's healthcare providers need to share information about what's happening. Here are some ways you can help:
  • Stay near your child when possible. If you can't be there, ask someone your child knows well to stay with him.
  • Talk with your child's healthcare providers about the treatments your child is receiving and what he may experience. Ask about the options.
  • Look for signals that your child's pain may be returning, changing, or not improving. Look for changes in your child's behavior or appearance.
  • Speak up. Don't worry about being a bother. Ask about anything that doesn't seem right to you. Don't get behind on your child's pain medication.
  • Help us understand your child. Since we may not be able to get rid of all the pain, tell us how your child normally finds comfort. For example, if he sucks his right thumb, ask if his IV (intravenous line) can be done on his other arm. If he likes to be rocked, ask if equipment can be moved near a chair.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.