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Pain Management In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Children feel and express pain in different ways. Your child may or may not be able to tell you he is in pain. Your child may express pain with actions, such as crying. What may be painful to one child may not be painful to other children. Pain may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Pain management is an important part of your child's care.
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: These medicines help decrease your child's pain. They can be bought without a doctor's order. Ask how much medicine is safe to give your child and how often to give it.
- Narcotic analgesics: These medicines include codeine and morphine. They are used for moderate to severe pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you give your child his medicine.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not helping or if he has side effects. Tell your child's primary healthcare provider if your child takes any vitamins, herbs, or other medicines. Keep a list of the medicines he takes. Include the amounts, and when and why he takes them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age: Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider or pain specialist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your child's primary healthcare provider or pain specialist if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child has nausea or vomiting.
- Your child is more sleepy than usual after he takes his medicine.
- You have questions about your child's condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your child's skin becomes red, swollen, and itchy.
- Your child suddenly has trouble breathing.
- Your child is sad, depressed, or not able to cope with his pain or illness.
- Your child's pain does not get better, or he has new pain.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.