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Parents 'making their children's pain worse'


Line Caes

Line Caes

Line Caes

OVER-PROTECTIVE parents could be increasing the levels of pain and distress felt by their children, a psychologist has warned.

Dr Line Caes of the School of Psychology and the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway said parents being overly focused on a fall, injection or even serious illness cause their children to feel more pain and distress.

The psychologist said there are two main categories when it comes to how parents treat their children in pain.

One is the protective responses, focusing on the pain, reassuring children and telling them it will all be over soon. The other is coping promoting responses like distracting your child with phone, video game or story.

"We see that those protective responses parents automatically engage in actually lead to more pain and distress in the child, while the coping promoting responses like distracting and talking about something else make a child feel less distress in a situation," she said.

The psychologist is now urging parents to review their responses to their child's pain.