Question: My Child Screams For A Long Time After Even The Most Minor Injury. Does This Mean He Has An Abnormal Pain Threshold?

Answer: So the question is, what's normal screaming, what's normal child response to pain? And certainly we know that children have, just as they have their own different personalities, they have their own individual differences in response to pain, both in terms of what causes pain for them. I mean, there's the child that falls off the bike and doesn't even notice that he skinned his knee, and the child who taps the bike on the knee and starts screaming. So, differences in threshold, or what is experienced as painful. But there's also the response to pain. So a child that screams, and screams, and screams for a long time, has difficultly turning off the pain behavior, or the response to pain, and that's a child that can really be helped by teaching the child some things, like first of all: distraction. If your child is screaming, and focused on a painful knee, you can say, "Oh, look at the other knee. That knee is getting lonely!" And pay attention to that knee. So distraction can work, and helping the child learn some special ways of turning off that pain response.

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