No mom likes to see her kid hurting, but do we do enough to help? Doctors at the University of California, Irvine, found that almost half of parents failed to give their kids adequate pain relief after minor surgery. Result: too many kids in too much pain. Here, help for common hurts (follow dosing recs on labels):
If your kid has a broken bone:
Try Acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) with codeine. While this combo is the most commonly prescribed pain reliever for fractures, codeine can make some kids nauseous. For them, there's good news: A recent Medical College of Wisconsin study found ibuprofen (found in Advil) to be just as good at easing pain in kids with broken arms. If your child can tolerate the codeine, however, it's still the gold standard.
If your kid has a nasty headache:
Try Ibuprofen, which is a more effective muscle relaxant than acetaminophen (most children's headaches are caused by muscle tension).
If your kid had a tooth pulled:
Try rinsing with salt water (1 heaping teaspoon of salt in 1/2 cup warm water) after meals and before bed -- it helps with pain and prevents infection. Give acetaminophen as necessary.