Knee scrapes, headaches, and the occasional tummy ache are just part of life for kids. Most children get through these painful experiences with no lasting problems. But what if your child is suffering from more ongoing pain due to a health condition or injury? How can you help keep their pain under control without doing any more harm? Follow these five tips for pain management in kids.
Ask the doctor for a prescription.
Over-the-counter pain relievers may work adequately for some pain conditions, but they're not always enough. If your child is still in pain after you give them an OTC medication, do not be afraid to ask your doctor for a prescription for something stronger. This does not always have to mean an opiate! There are stronger prescription versions of the over-the-counter NSAIDs, like naproxen or ibuprofen, that will give your child more serious pain relief than the weaker OTC versions.
If your doctor does recommend prescription opiates for your kids, don't turn them down just because of your concerns about drug dependency. There are ways to use opiates safely. Adhere to the dose your doctor recommends, only give your child the opiate pain reliever when they need it, and stop giving the pain relievers when the pain wanes and OTC pain relievers work effectively again.
Take complaints seriously.
You may be tempted to shrug off your child's complaints of pain, figuring that they are over-exaggerating. However, you should keep in mind that your child knows their pain better than you do. Even if an injury does not look like it could cause you too much pain, your child's pain experience is different than your own. Take complaints of pain seriously, offering pain relievers or calling the doctor as needed.
Keep ice on hand.
Many times, icing an injury or a sore area can help enhance pain relief. Ice is not a replacement for pain control medications, but rather an additional therapy. It helps relieve inflammation, and less inflammation translates to less pain. Hold the ice in place for about 20 minutes, keeping a cloth between the ice and your child's skin to prevent frost bite. Repeat the ice therapy every couple of hours as needed.
Do not ice an incision site unless your doctor recommends that you do so. Icing an incision reduces circulation to the area and can impede healing.
Keep your child entertained.
Have you ever noticed that you notice pain less when you are busy? The same is true for kids. Your child may not be able to get up and be active due to their injury or medical condition. However, they can keep their mind busy and off of the pain! Provide them with mentally stimulating activities, like a new video game or a new book. You can even watch a movie together or play cards with them to keep them occupied.
Create a good environment.
What a "good environment" is will depend on your child's condition or injury. However, in all cases, it is an environment where your child won't be pressured to do anything that makes their pain worse. For example, if your child has a bruised rib, don't put anything they need on the counter. Keep it on a low table so they do not have to reach to grab it. If they have a broken leg, bring all of their essentials downstairs so they do not have to navigate the stairs.
With the tips above, you will have an easier time keeping your child comfortable. As always, follow your doctor's advice above any tips you read on the internet or elsewhere. For more guidance, talk to doctors at facilities like the Headache and Pain Center.Share
26 February 2018
My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.