Like every parent, you can’t stand the sight of your child suffering. However, unfortunately, pain is a part and parcel of life. Sometime in his life, your child will experience pain – whether because of an accident or illness, or simply as a part of growing up.
But how does your child experience pain? What purpose does it serve? We’re here to give you more clarity about your child’s pain
What is pain?
Your kid’s body consist of millions of nerve fibers, some of which end in pain receptors called nociceptors. These nerve fibers are consistently communicating with your child’s brain and telling them about their body and their environment.
When your kid is hurt or ill, the nociceptors area discharge chemicals called as prostaglandins. When prostaglandins are released, they end up making all the nearby nerves very sensitive to pain and make these pain signals stronger.
Pain experienced due to damage to the body’s tissues is sometimes called as nociceptive pain. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you need to know more about other types of pain.
Why do children feel pain?
Pain is our body communicating with us and trying to say something, somewhere needs some attention.
For instance, if your child ends up spraining his/her ankle, the pain tells them that they’ve hurt themselves and it needs to be attended.
Why do some children feel more pain than others?
The tolerance level of each individual varies from one another. Some children (and many adults) have extremely high pain thresholds, while others don’t.
The major reason for this is – perception. The brain works by association, so if the child has gone through a painful experience in the past, their brain might end up linking any future pain with the past experience. As a result, they might find it more difficult to cope with the new pain.
Emotions play an important part in affecting your pain threshold. If your child is worried, their threshold will be lower. On the other hand, strong emotions, such as fear or excitement, can momentarily stop the child from feeling any pain.
How do I know if my child is ill?
Before your child can speak, it can be really difficult for you to figure out why they are upset. Are they in pain or discomfort? Or is it entirely something else?
Below mentioned are some of the signs of illness to look out for in your child.
Your newborn or toddler could be ill if he or she:
- Is crying inconsolably
- Is irritable
- Is off their food
- Has frequent, liquid dirty nappies
- Looks flushed, feels hot
- Has a temperature above 38°C
- Is pale and cold
- Is breathing noisily and has a hoarse cough
- Cannot breathe properly through the nose
- Looks listless
- Is unusually quiet
- Is drowsy.
Get in touch with your doctor immediately or dial emergency if your child:
- Turns blue or very pale
- Has difficulty breathing
- Has a fit or seizure caused by fever
- Is drowsy or hard to wake
- Becomes jerky or unusually floppy
- Does not seem to know you
- Has glazed eyes and cannot focus properly.