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Professor Bernie Carter Helps Develop Pain Resource

12 February 2013

Press Office

Professor Bernie Carter works with WellChild to create advice area for parents managing their child’s pain after surgery

An expert in children’s nursing at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is among a group of academics who have overseen the development of a new resource which helps parents manage their child’s pain.

Professor Bernie Carter, from the School of Health, has worked with children’s charity WellChild to create My Child is in Pain.

Launched on 11 February, this brand new resource called My Child is in Pain is for parents who want to know how to help manage their child’s pain after surgery. This interactive website was developed by researchers working with parents of children who have had day surgery, along with healthcare professionals who are experts in pain management for children and young people.

“By involving parents in identifying what information they need .... we are confident that this resource will be a real asset for parents”

Through a series of videos, text and illustrations, the resource helps parents understand how children respond to pain and guides them through how to tell if their child is in pain. It provides detailed information and practical advice on some of the simple but effective things they can do to provide effective comfort and manage their child’s pain.

The resource also explains how common pain medications works and what parents should know about giving medication to children. My Child is in Pain is available via a dedicated web page, Facebook and YouTube.

WellChild were keen to fund this website to help reduce parental concerns and improve children’s recovery from surgery. My Child is in Pain builds on research and other initiatives undertaken by WellChild over more than 30 years to help children cope with pain from medical interventions.

This resource on managing children’s pain at home after surgery is the first of a planned series of initiatives available free to parents everywhere. Future initiatives aim to create resources for children, young people, their parents and health professionals to improve the management of children’s and young people’s pain. Professor Bernie Carter from the School of Health at the University of Central Lancashire, Dr Lucy Bray at Edge Hill University and Dr Nic Blackwell from OCB Media, along with Professor Linda Franck from the University of California, San Francisco oversaw the development of My Child is in Pain.

“One of the most distressing things for a parent is to see their child in pain”

Professor Carter said: “Although we have made tremendous improvements in recent years with some effective treatments for children, there remain many challenges in the assessment and management of pain. The important role parents can play in managing their child’s pain has been clearly highlighted. However dealing with a child who has been in hospital for treatment or tests can be overwhelming and stressful and, until now, the information available to help has not always been consistent or useful to parents.

“I am delighted that we have been able to take this first step to addressing this problem. By involving parents in identifying what information they need; how this information should be presented and in the design of the website, we are confident that this resource will be a real asset for parents.”

Linda Partridge, Director of Programmes for WellChild, said: “One of the most distressing things for a parent is to see their child in pain. At WellChild we are passionate about helping parents so they can support their child’s needs. We welcome feedback from parents who use this resource and look forward to helping families in other situations manage their pain in the future.”

For further information about WellChild’s work, please see