As a part of your child’s cancer treatment, your child may have to undergo medical procedures that are painful. Children respond to painful procedures in many different ways. As a parent, it can be very difficult to watch your child when they are scared and/or in pain. Even though you understand that these procedures are necessary for fighting cancer, your child may not understand — and it is often hard to see how something is good for you when it also causes you pain! Helping your child get ready for procedures can make them easier to deal with.
Here, we talk about how to share information with your child to prepare for upcoming medical procedures, about pain, and providing some tips for helping your child cope. While we cannot expect to completely eliminate pain in most situations, there are some basic steps you and your child can take to ease pain. It is also helpful to talk with your child’s doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers or pain specialists (if available in your hospital). These professionals are trained to help children with pain and can work with you and your child to figure out a coping plan. Children respond to pain in different ways, and you may need to try a few different things before you find something that works for your child. Remember, you are the expert when it comes to recognizing that your child is in pain and identifying things that help soothe your child.