Pain & Palliative Medicine

The sound of a child crying in pain is upsetting and can make caregivers and parents feel helpless. At Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, our interdisciplinary pain and palliative medicine physicians use a range of evidence-based methods to treat pain in infants, children and adolescents. Our pain specialists work directly with children and their families to manage pain using an array of treatments that may include medicine or procedures. Techniques such as basic comforting, sedation, and physical and occupational therapy may be used along with complementary and integrative methods such as massage, acupuncture or yoga.

Connecticut Children’s team of specialists that care for a child’s pain include pain and palliative medicine physicians, psychologists, nurses, and occupational and physical therapists. We care for children of all ages with a wide range of conditions, including:

Comfort Central Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is committed to being a place where the pain of medical treatment is minimized as much as possible. There is inevitable pain, anxiety and stress associated with illness, diagnostic procedures and hospitalization. Our pain and palliative care specialists may not be able to take away all of the pain, but we will make every effort to reduce it. Dedicated to best practices in pain management and patient- and family-centered care, every child has the right to the best pain relief possible. Parents are experts on their child and can help Connecticut Children’s pain specialists understand when your child is in pain and how we can best help. Regardless of age, working together will help reduce your child’s pain and suffering.

Techniques to Comfort Your Child


  • Help from parents — massage, singing, music, rocking 
  • Help from caregivers — swaddling in a blanket, pacifier dipped in sugar water for procedures


  • Help from parents — cuddling, blowing bubbles, telling stories, music 
  • Help from caregivers — medical play before and after procedure, swaddling in a blanket

Pre-school age children

  • Help from parents — blowing bubbles, breathing, telling stories, videos, noisy toys
  • Help from caregivers — developmental explanations of procedure, a familiar person, medical play before and after procedure

School age children and teens

  • Help from parents — deep breathing, hand held video games, books, headphones with music 
  • Help from caregivers — guided imagery, distraction