Question: What Special Considerations Should Be Made When Treating Pain In Babies?
Answer: The considerations in treating pain in a baby are very very complicated and very difficult because children who are before the age of verbalization, in other words, babies, obviously don't have the ability to express to us where their pain is and how much their pain is. And so therefore it's up to the judgment of the parent, and most typically the mother, to try to figure out the answers to those questions. And it's a very difficult thing to do.
In trying to figure out where your baby is hurting, there are certain clues of course. Will the baby draw their legs up to their abdomen, which is an indication of abdominal pain? Is there any associated symptom such as cough? Or the inability, or the refusal, to use a limb, which otherwise they would use is a good indication of where the pain may be?
In additional to that, other considerations in treating pain in babies have to do with the pharmacologic management of the pain. Not all drugs have been tested in babies, and not all drugs are safe to use in babies. And we are still learning the appropriate dosages of certain drugs, which are commonly used to treat pain in adults that are appropriate to treat pain in children.
So, the considerations that are specific to the treatment of pain in a baby include trying to figure what part of the body is hurting, and how much it's hurting, and deciding which drugs are safe to use in children, and in what dosages.