Study to Look at “Everyday Pain” in Toddlers and Young Children

Jan 07 2020 Posted: 12:04 GMT

The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway is seeking parents with a young child (from ages 2.5 to 6 years old) to take part in a short study about their child’s “everyday pains” (such as little bumps, scrapes, and cuts that happen around the home).

The study will explore how parents and their children respond to everyday pains. These are the most common type of pain for young children, but they are not well understood. Minor pains and the way that parents react may influence how a child learns about pain. The researchers would like to know more about how parents and children influence each other during these everyday pain experiences. For example, which parent responses may make their child’s pain experience a little easier and which responses may make the experience worse.

As part of the study, parents will complete a five-minute online diary each evening for two weeks about a pain event their child experienced that day. Additionally, parent and child will fill out a two-minute smartphone assessment together about how they felt during any pain events.

Grace O’Sullivan, Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway and lead researcher of the study, said: “Previous research has shown that children experience a painful incident approximately every three waking hours. Parents often deal with multiple incidents each day, and this study may be of interest to parents who want to know a little more about how to assess their child’s pain experiences.”

Professor Brian McGuire, Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, said: “This is an exciting study because it is about understanding the ways in which parents and kids learn from each other during minor pain experiences. Learning good pain coping skills in childhood probably protects us in adult life”.  

More information about the study can be found at: or email
To view a short video about the study, visit:


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