As a parent, it is very difficult to see your child in pain. From the early days of teething and nappy rash to bruised knees and sore throats, we always worry about our little ones and are there to comfort and reassure them and help them cope with the pain. As a Mum of two I have certainly had my share of bumps, scrapes and illness and below are my 5 Useful Tips On Helping Your Child Cope with Pain.
#1. Reassure your Child
Sometimes simply reassuring your child that they will be okay, and kissing the affected area better, can help your child deal with the pain.
Even a little cut can bleed quite a bit, or can look worse than it actually is until you clean it up and offer sympathy. Or your child may feel unwell if they have a cold or a virus. Keep them hydrated and keep an eye on their temperature but most of all be there for them and reassure them that they will feel better soon.
Remember, children learn by watching us and how we treat our pain. The less we discuss our pain the better. If we show that we can deal with our pain, it will help our children cope better when they experience pain.
#2. Consult your Pharmacist
As adults we are expected to have all the answers but sometimes we don’t know it all! Don’t worry, help is at hand from your local pharmacist. They can help with everything from identifying symptoms, to advising on the best product to help your child cope with pain from whatever is making them feel unwell. Whether your pregnant, have a newborn or a growing toddler, pop into your local pharmacy for expertise and advice. No worry is too small.
#3. Distract your Child
Play a game, watch a favourite program, read a book or tell a story to your child to take their mind off the pain they are feeling. Our mind is a powerful tool and if you can distract your child from thinking about the pain they can often start to feel better.
If your child is missing school because they are unwell, you need to ensure they don’t see it as a ‘fun day off’. This can lead to them coming up with more ailments in the future! Be firm but fair. Insist that homework has to be caught up on and you will often see an improvement.
#4. Over the Counter Medications
There are many over the counter medicines that can help your child cope with pain and bring down temperatures. Be sure to read all labels and only give the doses that are recommended for their age. If it is the first time your child is taking a particular medicine, look out for any allergy symptoms.
Learn your child’s habits, if you see a pattern develop, for instance if they suddenly experience pain each week when swimming is on, talk to your child to see if the pain is real or if they are just feeling anxious.
Sometimes a placebo will make the pain go away! I had an experience with my daughter where she felt ill at school just after they went back from holidays. In the end I bought some vitamin tablets and told her that they were to help with the sick feeling she got and it magically disappeared!
#5. Consult your GP
If your child is in pain or feeling unwell for more than a couple of days you should consult your GP. Always trust your instincts, you know your child best and can tell when they are really unwell, or when they are just looking for attention or the illness is not so serious.
Over to you! Do you have any tips for helping your child cope with pain when they are unwell? Let us know in the comments below.