Helping parents support their child in pain
Children who are experiencing pain in health care settings require the supportive presence of a parent to help them cope effectively. In fact, 99% of children state that "having their parent" present provides the most comfort when in pain. Yet, parents are often excluded from providing this support. Health professionals often encourage parents to "wait outside" until a procedure is over, believing that this facilitates the child's cooperation, especially for more invasive procedures. In fact, parents can use a variety of comforting and distracting strategies to support their child during a painful procedure. This manuscript presents research findings about parents' and health care professionals' attitudes and practices related to children in pain. Finally, strategies are presented for nurses to use in assisting parents who want to support their child during a painful experience.
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