Should I give my baby sugar when he's getting his shots?
From the Editors of Live Right Live Well
"It does reduce pain, therefore we recommend it," says Anne Taddio,
Ph.D., at the University of Toronto. However, "it may not prevent pain,
so additional pain-relieving interventions are needed," she adds.
Taddio recently studied the pain-relieving effect of sugar on 240
newborns who were being given injections or having blood drawn from a
vein. These necessary procedures last only a few seconds, but they are
painful for babies and cause anguish for parents. Taddio found that
infants who received sugar while blood was being drawn seemed to
experience slightly less pain. However, sugar did not reduce the pain
felt during heel pricks or injections.
Taddio speculates that
sugar may work by distracting a baby from pain or causing the body to
release its own painkillers. Using local cream anesthetics in addition
to giving the baby a little sugar directly into the mouth or on a
pacifier may be the most effective way to prevent pain during these
procedures, she says. Another strategy is to breastfeed your baby
during these tests. According to a recent Italian study, babies who
were nursed during painful heel pricks experienced less pain than
babies who were given sugar.
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