CHICAGO (AP) -- Infants usually cry when they get circumcised. Children often wince when they get shots. Some young cancer patients dread giving blood samples.
Children feel pain as much as adults, and doctors should do more to relieve their pain from injuries, illnesses and medical procedures, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Pain Society declared Tuesday in a new joint policy statement.
"Children are needlessly suffering," said Dr. Michael Ashburn, APS president and director of pain programs at the University of Utah. "Poorly treated pain following a procedure can lead to prolonged healing and make children at a higher risk for adverse side effects."
Doctors need to re-evaluate their routines to better anticipate and assess pain in children, create a soothing environment in their offices and involve parents in preventive measures, the statement said. It also recommended that pediatricians press for child-specific research in pain management and urge the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate pain relievers for children.
On the Net:
American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.aap.org
American Pain Society: http://www.ampainsoc.org
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