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Sweets Before Immunization Reduces Pain in Infants

Scheduled immunizations are an important part of pediatric care.  Crying after receiving immunizations can be as distressing to a parent as it is to a baby.  Fortunately, researchers discovered that infants who receive a sweet solution before a shot or minor painful procedure experience less pain and are more comfortable.

The effect of a sweet solution of glucose or sucrose on pain was evaluated in a study involving more than 1,000 children aged 1-12 months from several countries working together on a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Synthesis Grant.  The researchers found that infants who received a small amount of sweet solution moderately decreased crying in the vast majority of the studies (92%).  The infants cried less often and for shorter lengths of time.  The effect was greater for newborns versus older infants.  The researchers hope to fine tune the dosage amounts and make recommendations for clinical use, stating that sweet solutions are readily available and inexpensive.

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