Infants experience a host of painful medical procedures including heel sticks, venipuncture, and immunizations. Historically, little attention was given to infant pain management due to misconceived myths and beliefs about the experience and long-term effects of pain in infants. Recent data suggest that there are both short- and long-term negative repercussions associated with unmanaged infant pain. In response, a number of non-pharmacological approaches have been developed to provide infants with pain relief associated with medical events. This paper will review these behavioral approaches including positioning, parent training, distraction, sucrose, and skin-to-skin contact. Recommendations for best practices will be provided and future direction for infant pain management will be outlined.
Joffe, N. E., Cohen, L. L., Bearden, D. J., & Welkom, J. S. (2009). Behavioral approaches for infant pain relief. In S. D’Alonso & K. L. Grasso (Eds.). Acute pain: Causes, Effects and Treatment (pp. 125-136). New York: Nova Science Publishers.