Childhood Pain

Children experience pain just like adults do however they may have a difficult time expressing themselves. As a result they may find it hard to tell you where it hurts and what it feels like!

Talking to your child's doctors and nurses about pain is important. The more they know about your child's pain, the more they can help! So pay attention to how your child acts. Is your child restless? Is he or she unable to sleep?

It may be helpful to keep a pain diary to track your child's pain from day to day. This diary can also document how the pain changes after taking pain medication.

Some of the more common causes of childhood pain are discussed in more detail below.
Earache is a common form of pain experienced in children and can be very distressing.

Middle ear infections, caused by bacterial or viral infection, are most common and symptoms will include ear pain and fever. Young children that are too young to tell you what hurts may cry inconsolably, shriek loudly or pull at their affected ear.

External ear infections affect the ear canal and may affect the entire canal or just a small area, as in the case of a boil. Swimmer's ear is a type of external ear infection and occurs commonly after swimming in fresh water pools. Symptoms include itching, pain and an unpleasant smelling discharge.
When your child develops earache during or immediately after a flight, the cause could be barotrauma. This can be prevented or minimised if your child sucks a sweet on take-off and landing.
Sore Throat
Sore throats commonly occur in childhood. Most sore throats are the result of minor viral infections and clear up within 2 to 3 days without medical treatment.

Older children are able to tell you that their throat hurts but a sign of a young child possibly having a sore throat, is a reluctance to eat because of the pain caused by swallowing.
Headaches are a very common complaint in children and they often occur on their own but can accompany an infection that causes a fever or be a symptom of relatively minor disorders. Headaches are common and not usually serious.

Factors that can make your child prone to headaches include genetic history, head trauma, illness or infection, environmental factors, emotional factors or even food allergy.
Abdominal Pain
Most of the time abdominal pain that occurs in children is short-lived and disappears without treatment. A condition like appendicitis, however, is serious and requires urgent medical attention.
Painful Limbs
Minor injuries of arms and/or the legs as well as cramp are the most common causes of pain experienced by children in the limbs. Growing pains are another form of pain that children will often complain about.
Minor Injuries
Injuries that occur following an accident or fall normally result in a minor sprain or strain of the ligaments or muscle. The appropriate treatment for a sprain or strain or deep bruise is RICE:
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Rely on Adcock Ingram's range of pain relief solutions to relieve a variety of childhood pain! Access information about each of these products now.
Panado® Childrens Meltabs
Panado® Children Meltabs
Panado® Paediatric syrup
Panado® Paediatric syrup
REFERENCES: Accessed 17/09/2011. Accessed 17/09/2011.
Smith Dr.T (Ed), The BMA Complete Family Health Guide, 2000: 516, 819-820, 912-3. ISBN 0-7513-2722-0
The BMA Family Doctor Home Adviser 4th Edition: 48,50-1,72-5,84-85,98-99,103,116,129,131,150-1,154-5,163,170,190,224-6, 234-6
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