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Non-Medication Options

Non-medication strategies play an important role in managing pain and reducing anxiety. You can use these strategies, along with the medications your surgeon has recommended, to help your child recover. Using these methods may allow you to decrease use of opioids and avoid their side effects.

Some examples of non-medication pain management options are:

MindfulnessSpecial FoodsArt
Practicing calm breathing, like belly breathing or square breathing, can help to relax muscles that are tensed because of pain or anxiety. Your child can use their imagination to visualize a place that makes them feel calm, relaxed, and comfortable.Special foods, such as ice cream or popsicles, can distract your child from their pain by giving them something enjoyable to think aboutArt can be a tool for positive coping, a distraction from pain, and an outlet for your child or teen to communicate their feelings.
MusicGames & PlayBooks
Music may be very comforting when your child is experiencing pain or discomfort. Listening to music, singing, or writing songs can help lessen pain and anxiety.Keeping your child’s mind focused on something else can help reduce their awareness of pain. Helpful distractions can include toys, board games, video games, or movies.Reading children’s books about surgery and emotions can help your child understand their own pain and feelings better. This may give
them a sense of control and decrease their anxiety. Reading your child’s favorite books and stories together can also comfort them
Family TimeSleepFoods & Hydration
Many children are reassured by the presence of their family. Spend time with your child and be a calming presence for them. Some children are relaxed by gentle touch and massage, which can help reduce pain.Sleep helps the body heal. Allow your child to get the best night’s sleep possible by getting them to bed at their usual time and providing a relaxing and calm environmentMake sure your child is drinking enough fluids and eating as normally as possible while being mindful of any restrictions from your surgeon. Dehydration can worsen recovery and increase pain. Some signs of dehydration in children are:

• Dry lips, mouth, or skin
• Decreased urination
• Lack of tears when crying
• Lethargy (decreased energy)