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.