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Is your baby in pain?

September 13th, 2017 | By: Sydney Loney
From needles to ear infections, here's how to make the hurt go away

In This Article

Is your baby in pain?

Scraped knees and the occasional ouch are probably part of your child’s regular routine, but how do you know when her pain is something a kiss can’t make better? “Kids often aren’t able to express where, or how badly, it hurts,” says Dr. Christine Chambers, a pediatric psychologist at the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research in Halifax. Here’s how to tell when your child is hurt–and what you can do to make it better.

How to tell when your child is in pain

When it comes to diagnosing your child’s pain, trust your instincts. “Parents know their children best and often realize fairly quickly that something isn’t right,” says Dr. Chambers. How children communicate pain depends on their age.

Infants: Look for changes in behaviour: if your baby is eating less, seems fussier than usual, or repeatedly brings her hands to a sore spot–an infant might repeatedly touch her ear if she has an ear infection, for example.

Toddlers: By ages two and three, you can usually ask your child directly if she’s in pain using the words she uses. “So ask things like, “do you have an ‘ouchie’ or ‘booboo,’” says Dr. Chambers. She may also be able to show you where it hurts by pointing to her tummy if she has a stomachache, for example.