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Assist Children Cope With Pain

Mar 19, 2008
Would you like to find out how to help children cope with pain? The information in the article below comes straight from my working experience with children suffering from chronic or life-threatening illnesses. The more information about this topic you know, the more likely you are able to help children cope with pain.

Imagine that we are at the doctor's clinic. You see a child crying and yelling because of pain inflicted by injection and medical treatment. How do you feel? Are you anxious or worried when you bring your child to see a doctor? It is normal to have this reaction. Since it is painful to see your child suffering in pain, I shall suggest ways to help the children to cope with pain and medical treatment.

Ways to help children

1. Tell them the details of the medical appointment

You can tell the children about the date, time, place and reason for the medical appointment. You can describe the environment and person of a clinic or a hospital. Is there any toy corner, toy house or reading books for the children in the clinic or hospital? Who are the doctor and the nurse? What will they do for your children? Why do you bring your children to see doctor? What will be the treatment of the illness?

For example, the parent tells his son, "Today, I will bring you to see Dr. Lee at 9:00 a.m. at Clinic H because you have fever. Don't worry. The doctor and nurse are helpful and they will check your body and give you medicine so you will recover soon."

2. Role-play at Home

Role-play is a good way of learning for the children to experience a real-life situation. Sometimes, you play the role of a doctor, nurse, and patient at home. Your children will have experience of different roles through acting.

In my experience, children usually like to act as a doctor or a nurse. They will develop a sense of mastery or control over the situation. Through the change of roles, the children will experience different roles and become more familiarised with the physical and social environments of a clinic or a hospital. You can buy a doctor kit in a toyshop to play with your children. A doctor kit includes stethoscope, thermometer, plasters, and blood pressure measuring equipment and so on. The choice of toy is according to the age and preference of the children. The role-playing game is good psychological and mental preparation for your children.

Preparing your children for the medical treatment is very important. Tell them about the medical treatment and the role-playing game at home can prepare them to see a doctor psychologically.

I hope that you can share your knowledge with others about how to help children cope with pain.

Disclaimers: The author shares this article based on her personal and work experience and disclaims any responsibility for any liability, losses or damages and /or application of any of contents of this article.
About the Author
Ms Mak Wai Chong, a mother of 3 children, is a freelance trainer and counsellor. She has worked as social worker and counsellor for 17 years. Visit her website at WiseParents.net for prenatal training and parenting information and FREE newsletters.
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