Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home

When Children Feel Pain

From Everyday Aches to Chronic Conditions

Rachel Rabkin Peachman, Anna C. Wilson

ISBN 9780674185029

Publication date: 08/30/2022

Request exam copy

What should you do when your child hurts? Two of the leading voices on pediatric pain teach us how to help children when they need us most.

From the sting of a needle to the agony of a life-threatening illness, children experience pain. When they do, they look to adults for help and comfort. But children’s pain is poorly understood, not only by many parents, teachers, and coaches, but also by numerous doctors and nurses. In When Children Feel Pain, Rachel Rabkin Peachman, an award-winning science and parenting journalist, and Anna Wilson, a pediatric pain specialist, show how the latest medical advances can help us care for children when they suffer.

Untreated or misdiagnosed pain is an epidemic among children. Nearly one out of every five children in the United States suffers chronic pain, while 30 to 40 percent of children over age twelve report feeling some form of pain in any given week. Yet only a small fraction of children receive appropriate treatment, increasing the risk that they will struggle with pain later in life. But, as Peachman and Wilson show, if we give pain the attention it deserves early in life, we can minimize short-term distress and halt the development of long-term chronic pain problems.

Whether you are a parent, medical professional, teacher, or anyone else who cares for children, Peachman and Wilson can teach you how to help kids cope with pain. The authors dispel myths and fears surrounding childhood vaccination and opioid prescription medication and outline a range of effective pain-relieving strategies, from cognitive behavioral therapy to parent-led soothing techniques. Helping children address pain is not only at the heart of caretaking; it also proves to be a foundation for lifelong health.

Praise

  • Vital, eye-opening, and wildly helpful. It punctures both ignorance (babies don’t feel pain, have no memory of pain, and we can’t help them anyway) and denial (‘My baby? In pain?’). Every parent will come away from its pages enlightened.

    —Wendy Mogel, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and Voice Lessons for Parents

Awards

  • 2023, Winner of the Science-in-Society Journalism Awards

Authors

  • Rachel Rabkin Peachman is a seasoned health and science journalist who has written for a wide range of publications, including The Atlantic, Consumer Reports, Parents, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. She is a recipient of the Kathleen M. Foley Journalist Award, given by the American Pain Society.
  • Anna C. Wilson is a pediatric psychologist and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University, where she works on the prevention and treatment of chronic pain in children and adolescents. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Pain Society.

Book Details

  • 336 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

Recommendations