The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Web Extra

September 17, 2013

Music can distract kids from the pain of medical procedures

(Continued)

Other useful techniques include storytelling, guided imagery (talking to kids about a special place or event), blowing soap bubbles and, not surprisingly, tablet games. Sipping sugar water, sitting in parents' laps and deep breathing can also help mitigate children's pain in the doctor's office or the emergency room.

Such distractions might require a rethinking of the doctor visit. For years the protocol in many pediatric practices has been to give out stickers or candy after kids get their shots. "Why not put something in place before the injection?" asks Denise Harrison, a nurse and researcher at the University of Ottawa.

In a 2010 study, Harrison found that in 13 of 14 clinical trials, use of a sugar solution — typically given orally two minutes before an injection — reduced babies' crying upon getting the shot.

Harrison and William Zempsky, head of pain medicine at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, are part of a group of physicians and researchers trying to change the way health-care providers manage pain in children. They have compiled evidence for sugar solutions and other approaches such as a skin spray, Pain Ease, that produces a freezing sensation, and a patch that numbs the skin before the shot. Zempsky co-authored a clinical report for the American Academy of Pediatrics that offered pain-reducing strategies for immunizations, including the use of sugar solutions.

In the ER, sometimes kids need strong pain medications, but there's a reluctance to give such drugs to children, especially very young ones. "Studies show that kids under 2 years don't get appropriate pain meds," Zempsky says, noting that physicians and parents are fearful of giving them opiate drugs such as morphine. "But these drugs are safe and effective and appropriate to use," he says, especially with painful injuries such as a fracture or a scald burn.

Text Only
Web Extra
  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia. But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 28, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 22, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 22, 2014

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 22, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 18, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 18, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo