Stories about: pain treatment

Children don’t have time for the pain—of shots

Feeling "a little" pinch is a small price to pay for good healthcare. But we can do more to reduce the discomfort. (UNICEF Sverige/Flickr)

I remember distinctly both of my boys’ 4-month-old well visits. Mostly because of the shots: all four of them.

Neither boy was particularly happy about being poked that much (though the shiny Band-Aids afterward did help a little).

My wife and I would have loved to help ease the pain of the shots, but we didn’t have any idea how. Frankly, I don’t know that, in the moment, it crossed our minds that there was something we could do, and it wasn’t something we thought to ask our pediatrician about. I mean, it was just a little bit of pain, right?

The problem, though, is that those little bits of pain add up. “Millions of injections are given to children around the world every year,” says Neil Schechter, MD, a pain specialist in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Anesthesia Department. Schechter recently published an article in Pediatrics where he commented that while we’ve come a long way in the last 50 years in understanding and addressing pain in children—especially after surgery or due to chronic illness—pain in the pediatric office hasn’t received the same level of attention.

“The pain from shots and other minor procedures in a pediatrician’s office doesn’t have the same poignancy as pain in an inpatient setting,” he says, “but it is still pain. And if we want to encourage patients’ and families’ cooperation and participation in routine healthcare, we want to keep pain to a minimum.”

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Children's in the news

The New York Times reports on the state of federal incentives for doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic medical records and notes the long-range vision of computerized patient data is what health care specialists call a “learning health system.” Children’s Isaac Kohane, MD, PhD, speaks to obstacles to such a national computer-enabled learning system.

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The Boston Globe reports on the challenges parents are facing as they try and reduce the amounts of television their children watch. Children’s Michael Rich, MD, MPH, comments on how stressful it is for parents when they need to change their children’s television viewing habits.

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MIT Technology Review reports on a new study by Children’s William Bosl, PhD, and Charles Nelson, PhD, which analyzed the electrical activity in infants’ brains to predict early on which could be at high risk of developing autism.

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Children’s Kimberly Hall, MS, CCC-SLP, speaks with WCVB-TV Channel 5 about stuttering in a segment that highlights how the movie “The King’s Speech” is helping debunk some misconceptions about the diagnosis.

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Claire McCarthy, MD, speaks with Reuters Health about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that for the first time offers guidelines from the AAP on treating kids’ fevers with over-the-counter medications.

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ModernMedicine.com reports on new research from Children’s Charles Berde, MD, PhD, and collaborators that finds patients given a new local anesthetic derived from algae experienced less postoperative pain and recovered about two days sooner than those given the commonly used local anesthetic.

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