Pain management for children

Note that this instruction for pain management only applies to children who do not have any other diseases, are 3 years or older and have a normal weight for their age.

Pain management for children

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In order for the period following the operation to be as good as possible, it is important to give pain-relieving medication. Your child will eat and sleep better and experience less pain, which will accelerate the healing. Therefore it is important to give the child the medication even if he/she does not have pain on the first day.

A number of children experience the most pain in the evening, while others think that night or early morning are worst. It is normal after tonsillectomy for the intensity of the pain to increase 3-5 days after surgery and then decrease.  This is most common when the whole tonsils are removed (tonsillectomy).

Increased pain is normal as long as there is no simultaneous fever and inability to swallow (primarily drinking). Read more under the tab Important.

Pain-relieving medications have the best effect when they are administered REGULARLY THROUGHOUT THE DAY. Then the child will not experience that much pain before the next dosage. Explain for your child that the pain will not last forever, but will decrease gradually and eventually stop. Also explain the importance of pain medication and how it helps. Follow the pain relief recommendations that you were given at the hospital. A combination of medicines that work in different ways is best. make sure you are compliant when it comes to the type of medicine, the dosage, and the time of administration, to keep a steady level of pain relief and to avoid “peaks of pain”. This applies even if your child does not seem to be in pain, or experience pain, at the moment. Wake the child up to give pain relief during the night, even though it may seem better not to disturb their sleep. Children and young people usually fall back to sleep quickly. This prevents flareups of pain that may disturb sleep and may be difficult to deal with on the following day. Regular pain relief also means that smaller amounts of medicines need to be given overall, which cuts the risks of side effects. Give the medication 30-60 minutes before meals so that the child will be able to swallow the food easier. To avoid too severe pain, do not allow more than 6 hours to pass between medication doses. In addition to the medication, it is important that the child receives extra attention that distracts them from the pain in the throat (play games, read, watch TV together with an adult etc.). Cold drinks or ice cream can also relieve the pain.

Read more on the following pages