Some things that may help your child be more comfortable at home:
- Find a relaxing position: blankets or pillows may be helpful; hold or rock your child as allowed by your child's provider
- Distract to help keep your child's mind off the pain with music or quiet activities (watch a video, use hand-held electronics)
- Distract with talking about things not related to the hospital or surgery (friends, favorite movies, favorite toys or favorite games, their pets or school)
- Use humor to improve mood and change focus of attention
- Talk about ways to cope- "If you do this _____, you will get better."
- Encourage relaxation techniques such as deep and steady breathing or meditation
- Make use of cool or low heat for comfort as allowed by your child's provider
Your child’s provider may also suggest a pain relief medicine for home. They may:
- Tell you to use over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief / fever reducing medicine
- Give you a prescription for pain relief medicine:
- Fill your child’s script right away.
- Ask when your child can start this medicine.
- Do not give this medicine if your child is too sleepy.
When giving medicine at home, follow the instructions on the bottle.
- Do not give more medicine than instructed.
- If you are not sure if you are giving the right amount or if you are giving it the right way, call your child’s provider.
Pain relief medicine may work better when given before your child’s pain is at its worst. Your child’s pain may increase if trying to hold off or avoid giving it pain relief medicine. It can be very hard to reduce their pain after it has become moderate or severe.
Use the pain scale handout “Parent’s Postoperative Pain Measure (PPPM)”, which may be given to you before discharge, to help you measure the amount of pain your child is having. The score will show when they may need their pain relief medicine.
Your child’s provider may limit or suggest activities that promote healing. While taking pain medicine such as an opioid (narcotic):
- Assist them when they walk or crawl.
- Assist them when going up and down stairs.
- The child should not drive or use heavy machinery.