New study to look at 'everyday pain' in kids

Participants needed
  • Deborah Condon

A new Irish study, which aims to look at 'everyday pain' in toddlers and young children, is seeking participants.

The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway is looking for parents with a young child aged between two and five years, to take part in the short study. The aim is to explore how parents and their children respond to everyday pains, such as little bumps, scrapes and cuts that happen around the home.

According to the researchers, these are the most common types of pain affecting young children, however they are not well understood.

They want to learn more about how parents and children influence each other during these common pain experiences. For example, they believe that the way parents react to them may influence how a child learns about pain.

They also want to see which type of responses make a child's experience of pain easier, and which make it worse.

"Previous research has shown that children experience a painful incident approximately every three waking hours. Parents often deal with multiple incidents each day, and this study may be of interest to parents who want to know a little more about how to assess their child's pain experiences," explained the study's lead researcher, Grace O'Sullivan, of NUI Galway.

As part of the study, parents will complete a five-minute online diary each evening for two weeks about a pain event their child experienced that day. Additionally, the parent and child will fill out a two-minute smartphone assessment together about how they felt during any pain events.

"This is an exciting study because it is about understanding the ways in which parents and children learn from each other during minor pain experiences. Learning good pain coping skills in childhood probably protects us in adult life," commented the study's supervisor, Prof Brian McGuire, of NUI Galway.

For more information on the study, click here or email A short video about the study can also be viewed here.


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