Helping your child with pain

Here are some age-appropriate tips to help your child with pain while at a Norton Children’s Hospital or Norton Children’s Medical Center.

Infants (birth to 12 months)

  • You can ask to remain with your child during procedures.
  • Comfort your child using lullaby music and using soft touches.
  • Assume a natural swaddling position.
  • Request sucrose during painful procedures (under 6 months).
  • Turn down the lights and avoid loud noises.
  • Use comfort positioning when possible. This is a holding technique that provides comfort during procedures. Your child life therapist can help with comfort positioning tips.

Toddlers (1 to 3 years)

  • You can ask to remain with your child during procedures.
  • Familiarize your child with the hospital and procedures through simple medical play with a doll.
  • Keep favorite items such as a blanket, toy or stuffed animal close to your child.
  • Use age-appropriate items to distract your child.
  • Request a numbing agent for procedures involving needle sticks.
  • Request to use a treatment room for painful procedures.
  • Keep routines as normal and consistent as possible.
  • Use comfort positioning when possible. This is a holding technique that provides comfort during procedures. Your child life therapist can help with comfort positioning tips.

Preschool (3 to 6 years)

  • You can ask to remain with your child during procedures.
  • Familiarize your child with the hospital and procedures through simple medical play with a doll.
  • Encourage your child to handle medical supplies through play.
  • Give your child clear and direct explanations about procedures.
  • Reinforce that illness, tests and procedures are not your child’s fault.
  • Give your child a job to involve them in the care and treatment.
  • Use age-appropriate items to distract your child.
  • Request to use a treatment room for painful procedures.
  • Reward your child often for positive outcomes and cooperation.
  • Request a numbing agent for procedures involving needle sticks.
  • Use comfort positioning when possible. This is a holding technique that provides comfort during procedures. Your child life therapist can help with comfort positioning tips.

School-age (7 to 12 years)

  • You can ask to remain with your child during procedures.
  • Prepare your child by providing simple explanations through play.
  • Request a numbing agent for procedures involving injections.
  • Request to use a treatment room for painful procedures.
  • Use age-appropriate items to distract your child.
  • Encourage relaxation with quiet music, guided imagery or deep breathing.
  • Offer your child choices during painful procedures.
  • Coach your child through the procedure and remind them the pain will not last forever.
  • Reward your child often for positive outcomes and cooperation.

Teenagers (13 to 17 years)

  • Caregivers can request to remain with teens.
  • Prepare your teen by providing an explanation and encouraging questions.
  • Request a numbing agent for procedures involving needle sticks.
  • Encourage relaxation with quiet music, guided imagery, deep breathing or massage.
  • Involve your teen in all decisions related to care and procedures.
  • Encourage socialization with friends and family.
  • Coach your teen through the procedure and remind him or her the pain will not last forever.
  • Stress positive outcomes related to the painful experience.
Plan Your Visit -5437

30th annual Snow Ball black tie gala to benefit Norton Children’s Hospital

The Snow Ball, one of the largest annual fundraisers for Norton Children’s Hospital, will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Omni Louisville Hotel. This black tie event is now in its 30th year and, […]

Read Full Story

Pediatrician debunks 5 myths about the flu

Should I get a flu shot? Can you get sick from the flu shot? Does the flu shot work? There are a lot of questions about the flu shot and the flu out there –– and […]

Read Full Story

How parents can help kids manage early puberty

Going through puberty can be a challenge for any child. But children who experience early puberty can have physical, social and emotional challenges that their peers may not, according to researchers. Early puberty or precocious […]

Read Full Story

How to treat a fever –– a pediatrician’s answer

Winter brings the holidays, time with family and friends and lower temperatures outside. It also brings cold and flu season. Even the common cold can cause a dreaded phenomenon: a fever. Developing a fever is […]

Read Full Story

Sisters’ bond helps family manage epilepsy

Seven years ago, my younger sister, Samantha, was diagnosed with epilepsy. Who would have thought that fluttering her eyes was actually a seizure? Sam didn’t seem herself, and so our pediatrician ordered a sleep-deprived electroencephalogram […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.