The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Pain Society have issued a September 2001 policy statement calling for pediatricians to respect and manage the pain that children feel from injuries, illnesses, and (too often) from medical procedures.
I hope we heed it well!
Kids’ pain is routinely ignored, minimized, or under treated in our medical culture. Anticipating or noticing the child’s pain is the first step, whether it is from an ear infection, a fall, or a shot. Then the appropriate combination of medicines, behavioral techniques, and physical techniques can be used to decrease or eliminate the pain.
For ear infections, I believe that pain drops should be prescribed at least as often as any other medication.
With shots, older children should be taught ways to cope with the pain.
And for circumcision, I believe it is unconscionable to perform this surgery on a child without making provision for his pain.