Comforting Your Child & Relieving Their Pain

At Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, the health care team partners with parents in their approach to relieving a child’s pain

Miller Children’s understands that during a child’s hospitalization, parents may have questions about the pain their child may feel.  Parents know what comforts their child best. We also understand that when a child is hurting, they want nothing more than to be with their mom or dad. We understand that a child’s own report about the pain they feel is the best way to measure and understand how much it hurts.

Your health care team doesn’t want your child to be uncomfortable during their stay in the hospital. They will respond to your child’s comfort needs as quickly as possible to take away their pain.

Miller Children’s uses a simple and easy tool, called a pain scale, to help your child to tell about the amount of pain they feel. It’s important parents understand the pain scale as well, so you can help identify the level of pain your child may have. You will also be given information and support to help coach your child to manage their pain.

How You Can Partner With Us to Provide Comfort to Your Child

  • Reassure your child with a calm, soothing voice.
  • Change or re-adjust your child’s position in their bed or hold your child if possible.
  • Involve or distract your child while waiting for pain relief or medicine to work.
  • Remind your child there is not a “shot” involved for pain control, pain medicine goes through a small tube in the vein called an IV.
  • Don’t be afraid of pain medicine – many years of study and research have found addiction to be very uncommon in kids.
  • Studies have shown that praise helps your child to cope with discomfort and pain. Praise your child for cooperating:
    "You are being very brave."
    “I know that was hard, I am proud of you.”
    “You did a great job of doing your deep breathing, holding still, etc.”

Comfort at Home

  • Many children go directly home after a procedure or surgery. Talk to your child’s health care team about a plan for managing your child’s pain at home.
  • Remember to ask about things to do for discomfort in addition to the medicine.
  • If your child does not feel relief with the home care plan, call your doctor so an adjustment can be made.
  • Give the pain medicine, as ordered by the doctor, only as long as your child complains of pain.