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Pain Management

Video: How to Handle Your Pain (En español)

To control pain, Rady Children’s Hospital strongly recommends the following:

  1. Have your child only take pain medications prescribed to your child by your doctor.
  2. Ask your doctor to explain how your child’s pain is being taken care of in words you understand.
  3. Dispose of unused pain medications by following the instructions on our Medication Disposal page or taking it to your local pharmacy for disposal. Find a CVS Safer Community Drop Box site.
  4. Opioid medications carry notable risk for breathing problems, death and drug interactions. In general, opioids should not be the first line of treatment for acute or chronic pain issues, but all pain management decisions should be made together with your physician/care provider.

What Rady Children’s Is Doing for Pain

At Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, controlling your child’s pain is important to us. Uncontrolled pain can be harmful and delay healing.

Sometimes we use medications, but many times, medications are NOT needed to control pain. Many non-medicine treatments for pain help relieve and control pain. Some pain medications can lead to addiction.

National Recognition

Rady Children’s Hospital has a task force dedicated to safely controlling pain in children. The Hospital and team recently won an award from the Centers from Medicare and Medicaid Services for reducing the risk of pain medication addiction in children.

Over a two-year period, an institution-wide quality improvement initiative reduced the number of ambulatory pediatric opioid prescriptions by about one-third and ambulatory doses prescribed by over 50 percent.