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Abnormal Hemoglobin Sickle Cell Pain Control

Our commitment to pain management

The health care team at Children’s Minnesota believes that infants and children have a right to the best level of pain relief that can be safely provided. Therefore, we take a team approach to pain and anxiety management using drug and non-drug therapies. Our goal is to have staff and families work together to evaluate pain promptly and treat it effectively.

How can I care for my child?

Give extra fluids

While the pain continues, have your child drink about double the normal amount of water or any clear liquid. Examples are juice, ice chips, broth, soda, Jell-O®, Popsicles®.

The amount your child needs is based on weight. Check the chart for the amount to give during each 24 hours while in pain.

Weight in pounds (lb.) Number of 8-ounce cups per day
10 lb. 2 cups
15 lb. 3 cups
20 lb. 4 cups
25 lb. 5 cups
30 lb. 5 to 6 cups
35 lb. 6 to 7 cups
40 lb. 7 cups
50 lb. 8 cups
60 lb. 9 cups
More than 60 lb. 10 or more cups

Give pain medicines as directed by your health care professional.

It is important to let your hematology provider know at a clinic visit if your child needs more oxycodone. This medication cannot be called to a pharmacy.

What else can I do for pain?

  • Give warm baths.
  • Use a warm moist towel or a heating pad. Make sure they are warm, not hot. Check the skin often to make sure it is not getting too warm.
  • Gentle massage of the area that hurts can be helpful.
  • Relaxation and distraction, such as quiet games, stories, music, or videos may help your child focus on other things.

When should I call the clinic?

Call for advice if:

  • vomiting, unable to keep medicines or fluids down
  • diarrhea
  • pain increases or lasts longer than 72 hours
  • any concerns

Call to be seen right away if:

  • fever: temperature of 101.5º F (38.6º C) or higher
  • severe headache
  • dizziness
  • breathing problems
  • chest pain
  • severe stomach pain
  • swelling in abdomen (belly)
  • painful erection of the penis
  • any type of seizure
  • weakness
  • unable to move part of the body

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Children's Hematology/Oncology clinic at 612-813-5940.

If you cannot contact your provider, go to the emergency room.


These instructions are to be used only under the advice of your child’s doctor or nurse practitioner.



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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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