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Pain Management Tips For Parents Of Small Children

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If your child has a serious injury or illness, part of the recovery and treatment process is helping them to cope with pain and discomfort. Pain management for children can be complex. They often cannot rely entirely on strong pain prescriptions. Parents can help incorporate some pain management strategies to help children deal with health problems and the pain that comes with them.

Here are some tips to consider.

1. Take complaints of increased pain seriously.

Children may not be able to fully communicate why or how something hurts; they just know it does. If your child has already been seen for an illness or injury, take new complaints seriously. Parents can often dismiss a child's pain as fear or as a side effect of something they have already experienced. However, sometimes infection or complications can register as new pain in a different area. If pain seems to appear in new places or if it seems to be getting worse, let your doctor know to make sure no new problems are emerging. 

2. Adopt some at home pain remedies.

Your child should take prescribed pain pills, but if their pain is still a problem, you can help manage it with some simple home solutions. For example, bathing in warm water can sometimes relief painful joints and muscles. For a young child, such as a toddler, a bath can be a simple way to help reduce pain and provide some stimulation. Baths can also soothe skin irritations and rashes, as long as your doctor says it is safe.

Keep a stash of cold corn or rice bags in the freezer. These are less acutely cold than typical cold packs, which children may not like using because of the extreme temperature. These rice or corn packs will still provide inflammation relief for pain, but they will be easier for a child to endure because the cold is not as harsh on their skin. 

3. Prioritize rest.

Children who are recovering from surgery, injury, or illness may feel increasingly stir-crazy, but parents should make sure that rest is the primary focus of the day. Children should have plenty of sleep to foster healing. Rest also helps to prevent increased stress, which can increase pain levels. If your child does too much too soon, they can cause injury to themselves or make their illness worse. Follow the prescribed physical therapy or healing plan given by the doctor, even if your child seems ready for more.