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Medication is often used during and after surgery to help manage pain and keep your child comfortable. After surgery, other techniques can also help manage pain and discomfort. These techniques aren’t meant to replace pain medication. But using them can help your child feel better. It’s even good to practice them before surgery, so your child is ready to use them when surgery is complete.
Try the following techniques with your child:
Relaxation can relieve anxiety, relax the body, and reduce muscle tension. Ways to help your child relax include:
Deep and steady breathing. Have your child inhale deeply and slowly for a few seconds, and then exhale for the same amount of time.
Listening to music. Play soothing music to help calm your child.
Distraction allows your child to refocus his or her attention on an enjoyable activity. Ways to distract your child include:
Reading a book or listening to someone read
Telling a story or listening to a story
Playing video games
Watching TV shows and movies
Touch can be used to soothe or comfort your child. Be sure to avoid incision or surgical areas when using this technique. Examples of comforting touch include:
Stroking your child’s hair
Rocking your child back and forth or side to side
Gently rubbing your child’s back
Massaging muscle areas away from surgery areas
Visualization can help your child focus his or her thoughts and senses on the image of a positive place to take the mind off pain. This is done by simply closing the eyes and imagining how one might feel in that place. Have your child pick and describe a favorite place. Ask your child to talk about what they like about that place and how they felt while there.