Pediatric pain management depends on the type of pain present as well as whether any medical procedures are being performed. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used for mild to moderate pain associated with illnesses such as sore throat or teething pain. Stronger medications such as morphine may be prescribed by a doctor for more severe types of pain, including pain caused by traumatic injury, surgical procedures, or severe disease processes. Anesthesia may be used in pediatric pain management in cases where surgical operations or complicated medical procedures are performed. Any specific questions or concerns about pediatric pain management in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
In most cases, pediatric pain management involves the treatment of relatively minor conditions. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to treat discomfort caused by minor concerns such as teething, sore throat, or infections. If these medications do not provide sufficient relief, stronger pain medications may be prescribed by a doctor. These medications may include more potent formulations of the over-the-counter medications and may contain additional ingredients such as codeine to help relieve pain and promote restful sleep.
Even stronger prescription medications may sometimes be used for pediatric pain management if the degree of pain is classified as moderately severe to severe in nature. Morphine is a commonly used medication following some types of surgical procedures, traumatic injuries such as may occur following an automobile accident, or for pain caused by severe disease processes such as cancer. Pain relief patches are sometimes prescribed and placed on the skin to help relieve pain that is confined to a specific area of the body. In most cases, the course of treatment with this type of medication is relatively short, although long-term pain management is sometimes necessary.
Anesthesia is a form of pediatric pain management that is primarily used during surgical procedures in order to ensure that the patient does not experience any discomfort during the operation. Local anesthesia is used to numb the immediate area and may be used to remove warts, moles, or skin tumors. Regional anesthesia numbs an entire region of the body and may be used when the surgery is performed on a shoulder or foot. Techniques similar to those used in regional anesthesia may also be used to treat chronic pain in some situations. General anesthesia is used to completely sedate the patient and is most commonly used during more invasive procedures like tonsil removal or organ repair.