To prevent pain in infants, how about sugar water?
Infants have to get shots, and they hurt. But a new study finds that there is an anesthetic that is not only effective but also easy to administer and safe: sugar water. Researchers tested 83 infants at ages 2 months and 4 months. Before and after their routine inoculations, about half were given a 24 percent sucrose solution and a pacifier. The others received sterile water and the pacifier. Then investigators who did not know which children received the sugar water rated their level of pain and discomfort on a standardized scale that measured the intensity of cry, pained facial expression, body movements and sleep. The study, which appeared in the February issue of Pediatrics, found that at both 2 months and 4 months, the babies who got the sucrose solution were significantly more comfortable than those who received plain water. Even nine minutes after the injection, babies who drank sugar water scored 78 percent lower on the pain scale than the other infants.