Education in Palliative and End-of-life Care (EPEC) Pediatrics

April 12 – 13, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN

*plus Optional Professional Development Workshop (PDW) April 14, 2018*

Download Brochure: EPEC Peds 2018

The EPEC-Pediatrics curriculum features state-of-the-art knowledge in pain and symptom management and training in the skills required to address key domains for pediatric palliative care. The program is designed to give pediatric healthcare professionals (incl. physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, psychologists) the knowledge and skills needed to provide excellent palliative care to their patients and their families.

Participants will also be equipped to become EPEC-Pediatric Trainers who can educate interdisciplinary teams providing care to children with serious illness. More information:

Registration Includes:

·    2-day Train-the-Trainer Conference attendance

·    Access to 18 self-study online modules on pain and symptom management, grief and bereavement, child development, and more

·    Receipt of all training materials in the curriculum upon successful completion of the course, including:

o 24 PowerPoint Presentations

o A comprehensive teaching handbook for each module to teach interdisciplinary teams

o Trigger videos

Registration Fee: $1505 for physicians, $1105 for fellows and other clinicians (US$)

·     Up to 38 AMA PRA Category 1 and MOC points applied for

·     International scholarships available for low-to-moderate income countries

For more information, Email

Additional Offering: The Professional Development Workshop (PDW) This 1-day hands-on small-group workshop is intended to familiarize participants with the theory and practice of adult learning and clinical practice improvement in teaching pediatric pain and palliative care. This is a required course for Trainers who wish to become a Master Facilitator and opens the possibility to join the EPEC-Pediatrics faculty upon completion. Individuals who want to further enhance their teaching and leadership skills are also welcome to attend. Additional fee: $865.

2018 Faculty Includes:

Justin Baker, MD, St Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, TN

Stefan Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP *, Children’s Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Joshua Hauser, MD *, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Stacy Remke, LICSW, ACHP-SW *, University of Minnesota School of Social Work, St. Paul, MN

Camara VanBreemen, NP (F), Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Joanne Wolfe, MD, MPH *, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA                                  * Course directors

Registration: Education in Palliative & End-of-life Care (EPEC) Pediatrics: Become an EPEC-Peds Trainer Conference in Minneapolis, MN, April 12-13, 2018

Professional Development Workshop: April 14, 2018


Seeking 2 International Scholars from low-moderate income countriesEPEC Scholarship Application Guidelines 2017

Further Information:

Education in Palliative and End-of-life Care (EPEC – Pediatrics): A comprehensive curriculum designed to address the needs of children, their families, and pediatric oncology providers and other pediatric clinicians. Funded by the National Institutes of Health / National Cancer Institute. (NIH Grant Number: 1 R25 CA151000-01) from 2010-2017, Stefan Friedrichsdorf, MD, Joanne Wolfe, MD. Joshua Hauser, MD, and Stacy Remke, LiCSW lead this initiative and collaborate with a team of 35 national and international leaders in the field of pediatric pain medicine and palliative care.

The recently developed curriculum now comprises of 24 core palliative care modules, delivered in a combination of distance online learning and in-person conference sessions. These “Train-the-Trainer” modules provide the “trainers” (pediatric hematologists/oncologists or other pediatric specialists incl. nurse practitioners) with all powerpoint presentations, all trigger-tape videos and a teaching handbook for each module to teach interdisciplinary teams.

Train-the-Trainers participants 2012-2016: 365 Trainers from 25 countries and territories: USA (271) plus Puerto Rico (1); Argentina (3), Australia (26), Brazil (1), Canada (12), Costa Rica (2), Denmark (3), Dominican Republic (1), Egypt (1), Jordan (1), Kuwait (1), Mexico (2), Guatemala (1), India (3), Malaysia (3), New Zealand (22), Singapore (2), Saudi Arabia (1), South Africa (1), Thailand (1), Turkey (1), United Kingdom (2), Uruguay (1)

Existing EPEC-Pediatric modules:

1.     Multimodal Analgesia: Acute Pain Management

2.     Opioid Selection and Opioid Rotation

3.     Neuropathic Pain Management and Adjuvant Analgesia

4.     Procedural Pain Management Strategies

5.     Chronic/Complex Pain Management

6.     Methadone

7.     Management of Gastrointestinal Symptoms

8.     Management of Respiratory Symptoms

9.     Management of Fatigue, Psychosocial & Psychiatric Symptoms

10.  Management of Neurological Symptoms

11.  Management of Refractory Distress

12.  Preparation for Imminent Death

13.  Integrative Medicine

14.  Introducing Quality Improvement in PPC

15.  What is Pediatric Palliative Care and Why Does it Matter: An Overview

16.  Child Development

17.  Family Centered Care

18.  Grief and Bereavement

19.  Professional Care for Professionals

20.  Team Collaboration and Effectiveness

21.  Communication & Planning

22.  Ethical & Legal Considerations

23.  Teaching with EPEC-Pediatrics in the Face-to-Face Setting

24.  Teaching Pain & Symptom Management




Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP: Pediatric Grand Rounds. Stanford Children’s Health. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford, CA. Feb 12, 2016

Pain Management in Hospitalized Children – From Schrödinger’s Cat and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle to Myths, Morphine and Multimodal Analgesia.

Click following link to watch video of this grand rounds lecture (58 minutes)


Learning Objectives:

  • Critically review risks & safety of analgesic under-treatment versus over-treatment in hospitalized infants & children with pain
  • Evaluate assumptions about opioid use in children
  • Discuss how multiple agents, interventions, rehabilitation, psychological & integrative therapies act synergistically for more effective pediatric pain control with fewer side effects than a single analgesic or modality – and improves patient experience
  • Explore how principles of quantum physics might explain effectiveness of pediatric pain treatment modalities

Link to brochure: Pain Clinic Grand Opening

Media Coverage:

Kare11 Minneapolis/St.Paul (NBC): Innovative kids’ pain clinic opens in Twin Cities (Jan 15, 2015)

WCCO 4 News At 6: Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis officially opened a pain clinic unlike any other in the country, reports Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield (Jan. 15, 2015)

Star Tribune: Clinic taps into the senses to relax and soothe hurting children. (Jan 19, 2015)

Children’s new Pain, Palliative & Integrative Medicine Clinic opens new doors

Minneapolis /St. Paul Business Journal: Children’s Hospitals opens expanded pain therapy clinic (Jan 15, 2015):

Minneapolis/St.Paul Magazine: Horst Rechelbacher’s legacy: $ 3.1 Million New Healing Environment Pain, Palliative & Integrative Medicine Clinic at Children’s of MN (Oct 2014)

Kiran Stordalen and late Horst Rechelbacher discuss integrative medicine with Dr. Stefan Friedichsdorf and their generous gift to create the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. (Oct 2014)

CBS: Horst Rechelbacher and Kiran Stordalen give $1.5M to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for new pain, palliative and integrative medicine clinic (Oct 2014)



11th Annual Pediatric Pain Master Class

Twitter Hashtag #PedsPMC

Presented by Children’s Institute for Pain and Palliative Care, Department of Pain Medicine, Palliative Care & Integrative Medicine, Children’s Hospitals and Clinic of Minnesota; June 9-15, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN

Registration available soon:

Contact if any questions

The Pediatric Pain Master Class offers state of the art education in pain management for the pediatric patient from a holistic and interdisciplinary perspective. The program will cover pharmacological, medical,psychosocial and integrative therapies in the management of children’s acute, procedural, and complex/chronic pain. Pain assessment and management of somatic, visceral, neuropathic, psychosocial andspiritual pain as well as end-of-life management of pain and distressing symptoms will be explored in depth.

The master class is primarily designed for physicians and advanced practice nurses to develop their expertise in the field of pain management in a highly interactive seminar format. Other disciplines are of course welcome.

Two competitive scholarships will be awarded to physicians from low to moderate income countries working in the field of pediatric pain and/or palliative care. The two-week scholarship consists of a one-weekpracticum with the pain, palliative and integrative medicine team at Children’s and registration for the 9th annual Pediatric Pain Master Class. Application guidelines can be found on the registration site.

Course director: Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP, medical director, department of pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Course co-director: Kavita M. Desai, PhD, LP, psychologist, department of pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

For more information about our program: 

The 2018 Faculty includes:

KJS “Sunny” Anand, MBBS, Phil – Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA

Charles Berde, MD, PhD – Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Christine Chambers, PhD, Psych – Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Julie Hauer, MD – Pediatric Neuro-Palliative Care Consultant, Newton, Massachusetts, USA

Leora Kuttner, PhD – British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Melanie Noel, PhD – Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, AB, Canada

Michael Sangster, MBA, BSc (PT) – Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Terri Voepel-Lewis, PhD, RN – University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Gary A. Walco, PhD – Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, WA, USA



10th Annual Pediatric Pain Master Class: June 11-17, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN (USA): Download here the complete brochure and agenda: 2017 Pain Master Class 2017 brochure

(2018 Pain Master Class Brochure will be posted in Feb 2018)


SCHOLARSHIP for 11th Pediatric Pain Master Class plus 1-week Practicum

June 4-15, 2018 for physicians from low-moderate income countries: Guidelines available at: 

(Click to download): Application Guidelines for PPMC Scholarship 2018

Past Scholars include:

2017: ·  Tanny Taniga Kiatchai, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

2017:  Jean Jacob, MD, MNJ Institute of Oncology & Regional Cancer Center, Hyderabad, India

2016: Mauricio Cervantes, MD, Hospital Infantil Teleton de Oncologia, Querétaro; Mexico

2016: Andrey Penkov, MD, Kharkov Regional Baby Home #1, Kharkov; Ukraine

2015: Rakesh Sharma, MD, from Shimla, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla; India

2015: Issrang Nuchprayoon, MD, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok; Thailand

2014: Wendy Cristhyna Gómez García, MD, Dr. Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital, Dominican Republic 

2014: Cornelius Kondwani Huwa, MD. Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Palliative Care Support Trust, Malawi

2013: Mercedes BernadaMD. Professional Faculty, Department of Pediatrics, Central Hospital Pereira Rossell, Uruguay

2013: Catherine Segbefia, MD. Clinical Tutor, Department of Child Health, University of Ghana School of Medicine, Ghana

2012: Juan Carlos Irola Moya, MD. Pediatric Palliative Care Physician, National Children’s Hospital, Costa Rica

2012: Julius X. Scott, MD, Associate Professor, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Sri Ramachandra Medical University, India

2012: Damte Shimelis, MD, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Addis Ababa University, School of Medicine, Ethiopia

2011: María Carolina Kamel, MD, Medical Supervisor Pediatrics & Assoc. Clinical Officer, Miguel Pérez Carreño Hospital, Venezuela

2011: Anna Sonkin, MD, Attending Pediatric Physician, Moscow Scientific-Practical Center for Pediatric Cranio-Facial Surgery/Neuropathology, Russia

2010: Linge Gowda, MD, Professor and Head, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, India

2010: Jinxiang Li, MD, Department of Palliative Medicine, The West China Fourth Hospital of Sichuan University, China

2009: Michelle Meiring, MD, Pediatric Physician, Bigshoes Paediatric Palliative Care Services, Capetown, South Africa

2009: Thao Tran, MD, Pediatric Physician, Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine Children’s Hospital, Vietnam


Previous Annual Pediatric Pain Master Class – Selected Participant Comments

  • Stefan and his team’s PMC is probably the most intensive educational course I’ve ever done – it is a stunningly thorough coverage of the field of pediatric pain medicine, both broad & deep. The use of interactive feedback, and instant access to a plethora of resources electronically, and experiential aspects (as well as the excellent food, and the two social & one clinical visit provided a welcome balance to the early starts and long days. It truly is an amazing course. Thank you! Paul Vroegop, MD, Auckland, New Zealand
  • This course has invigorated me to become a leader of institutional change at my hospital – it’s time to make children’s comfort a given. Whether using nitrous oxide, topical anesthetics, distraction or advocating for 3 P approach in chronic pain and regional anesthesia at the end of life, comfort possibilities are endless if we just make them a priority. Katherine O’Connor, MD, Bronx, NY
  • Amazing & practical course, packed with entertaining speakers and real-world advice. Really game-changing. Molly Williams, FRACP, Melbourne VIC, Australia
  • This class has opened my eyes to pediatric pain and has made me realize that pain does not have to be a frustrating process and can change. This course should be a must for every pediatric provider to be able to continue to shift thinking in pediatric pain management. The concept of no needless pain/comfort promise is a concept that should absolutely be implemented in every children’s hospital and doctors office in the country (and world!). It has been empowering to want to make a change. J.D. USA
  • Wow, what an amazing course, truly integrated approach. I have learnt so much and it has been a brilliant experience. This seven day course had been a unique experience, the blend of lecturers really works well. You have a fantastic clinic and a really amazing team of people you work with. I will be recommending this amazing course to my colleagues back in the UK. Thank You. Julie Bayliss, Rn, RSCN, BSC Med, London, UK
  • The Pain Master Class was an amazing opportunity to not only (greatly) increase my knowledge on pediatric pain management, but also change my attitude on chronic and procedural pain. The many skills I learned at this course will directly translate to improved patient care. Melissa Acquazzino, MD, Milwaukee, WI
  • As an Emergency Physician I am an expert at managing acute pain, but have had challenging experiences with chronic pain and palliative care patients. Following this course I will bring increased enthusiasm and confidence to my interactions with these patients as I start to use some of my skills and knowledge I have gained. And I will go forward and strive to increase my advocacy for optimal pain management for all infants, children and young people. Jocelyn Neutze, MD, Auckland, New Zealand
  • The pain master class should be required education for every provider who sees a substantial number of pediatric patients with acute and chronic pain, and every provider who want to take a greater leadership role in pediatric pain/palliative care at their institution.
  • A comprehensive and wide ranging course on pediatric pain & palliative care. The speakers are world renowned in their field & are able to distil the clinically relevant aspects of their field. Highly recommended.
  • This was one of the most effective and enjoyable learning activites I have participated in. The approach was multi-modal, multi-faceted & modeled was taught (attitude, skill, knowledge). The time & money spent was the best use of those resources thus far in my career. Anyone who cares for children will benefit from the knowledge, resources, collegiality, networking & inspiration that this course provides. Christine Zawistowski, MD, New York, NY
  • I appreciate the chance to attend this wonderful conference. […] I noticed Japanese are indifferent to pediatric pain. I’m trying to eliminate the needless pain from now on. Yuko Cho, MD, PhD, Sapporo, Japan
  • This class has transformed the way I view pain in pediatrics. It has given me so many tips and methods to help any pediatric patient cope with the variety of things that happen in a hospital and I am really looking forward to making a positive change at my hospital.
  • Thank you for such a fantastic learning opportunity. This dynamic course has provided practical training and methods that I will be able to use immediately to improve the care that I give to children. Wonderful teachers and speakers. So refreshing to be with company of like-minded colleagues and innovative leaders in the field. M.B., Chicago, IL
  • Dear Stefan, Thank you and your team so much for this amazing course. You really found, addressed and taught the sweet spot of holistic, child-centered pain management. Besides this, I appreciated that you provided teaching methodology and skills as well as the implementation lectures. It was an exciting experience meeting you and your team and all the other excellent speakers and the colleagues from all over the world. It will be skill-changing for sure. Thank You. Kathrin Knochel, MD, Munic, Germany
  • Starting a career in palliative care- this course provided the knowledge base confidence to get started. Karen-Rose Wilson, MD, Calgary, Aleberta, Canada
  • This has been a fantastic course. It has provided both inspiration to strive for better pain management program for children and a solid foundation via confident, evidence-based manner. Any reservations about developing comprehensive pain program for pediatrics at my institution have been entirely removed through my participation in this course. Bradd Henker, MD, Coon Rapids, MI
  • This week was a feast for the mind, body and spirit – a very comprehensive overview of the field of Pain Management in children. Kaylani Raghavan, MD, MBBC, DCH, Hartford, CT
  • The Pain Master Class is a one of a kind course that raises the bar on pain management. The course focuses on pediatric pain management, palliative care and integrative medicine with international leaders in the field lending their expertise to this endeavor. As someone with extensive training in pain management already – I still felt that this course was extremely valuable to my practice. Alexander J. Madonis, MD, Los Angeles, CA
  • In the 16 years that I practiced pediatric oncology, and the 7 years of pediatric palliative medicine & hospice, I have never attended a conference that so fundamentally changed the way I think about how to care for / treat children that even remotely compares to this one. Bob Bash, MD, Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL
  • It was an extremely useful course. I will go back to my hospital with a more profound knowledge of all aspects of pediatric pain. Thank you! Join Verlooy, MD, Antwerp, Belgium
  • A well organized course with high content value. The presentation were par excellance and kept everyone glued. Created an opportunity to learn extensively in the field of pain management and the recent advances in the field. Rakesh Sharma, MD, India

7th Annual Pediatric Pain Master Class – Selected Participant Comments

  • This was an amazing class. I learned so much that is directly applicable to my own practice, both to the whole program and individual patients. I am inspired and rejuvenated to return to work. Mary Beth Chrismaeich, MD, St. Louis, MO
  • Stefan is a wonderful and innovative teacher, but even beyond that he really does bring the best people on the planet to teach the various domains in the course. Caitlin Neri, MD, MPH, Boston, MA
  • I loved all the resources provided. The fabulous networking activities were a great touch to make it even more special. Thank you! I will recommend this conference to my colleagues. Life changing! Anonymously
  • The lectures and experimental activities are based on equal parts compassion and evidence best practice… Sarah Fehr, RN, MSN
  • The lessons are largely practical and applicable even in my setting in Malawi. This will change the way pain is managed and viewed in children in Malawi. Cornelius Huwa, MD, Blantyre, Malawi (Africa)
  • I have gained knowledge and skills that I will start using Monday morning…My patients and their families are no doubt better off as a result of me taking this master class. Dr. N.P., Mesa, AZ
  • It is not often in our professional career that we have the fortune to experience a comprehensive course by worldwide experts in one location. Rebekah Holpira
  • Thanks for helping instill confidence in my management and my ability to affect change in pain management within my own institution. Mona Reed, MD
  • The days are long, but the learning is immense and relevant, fun and immediately usable. After a long day, you leave the course feeling energized and ready to begin again in the morning. Anonymously
  • Our days were filled with superb speakers who were all masters of their craft, simple to complex material was effectively communicated with innovative learning strategies and resources were provided to prepare us to be change agent for our return home. Debra Davis, APRN
  • Phenomenal, comprehensive, evidence-based, well-organized course … everything needed to start a pain program or to enhance / grow an existing program. S.D., NY, USA
  • I feel significantly more competent to care for my patients…This course has the highest proportion of truly excellent presenters of any course/meeting I have attended. Robert J. Brown, MD, Los Angeles, CA





A Pediatrician’s favorite Top 10 Apps for Pain Management

State of the art pain management in the 21st century demands that pharmacological management must be combined with supportive and integrative (non-pharmacological) therapies to manage a child’s pain. At our department we are using physical methods (e.g. cuddle/hug, massage, comfort positioning, heat, cold, TENS), cognitive behavioral techniques (e.g. guided imagery, hypnosis, abdominal breathing, distraction, biofeedback) as well acupressure and aromatherapy.

For “needle-pokes” (vaccinations, blood draws etc.) for instance we expect that kids are sitting upright (use sucrose in the age group 0-12 months), that we numb their skin with topical anesthesia (e.g. EMLA-patch, LMX 4% lidocaine patch, or J-tip) and use distraction, such as bubble blowing or blowing a pin wheel. Alternatives can be apps on your smartphone etc.

My personal favorite remains teaching children in self-hypnosis. However, in addition, I use in my clinical practice (inpatient, clinic and home visits) increasingly Apps on my iPhone or iPad:

My Top 10 Apps for Pain & Symptom Management in Children

 #10 Chalkboard: Drawing on a realistic chalkboard with different color chalk – much more fun than it sounds. [$ 1.99]

 #9 Talking Tom: This is a cat that repeats everything you say in a funny voice. You can then record and share videos and send them by eMail / YouTube / Facebook. Kids really enjoy that they can make Tom the cat say funny stuff… [free]

# 8 Simply Being: Provides relaxation, stress relief and benefits of meditation without prior experience. It allows the child/teenager to choose from 4 meditation times and gives them the option to listen to the guided meditation with or without music or nature sounds. Kids can also listen to the music or nature sounds alone. More for older children and teenagers. [$ 0.99]

 #7 Drums:  As the name implies, this is a drum kit. Great for kids with too much [or too little] energy. Rock on! [$ 0.99]!/id311549739?mt=8

# 6 Tesla Toy: Tesla Toy is a fun interactive “particle toy”. When the fingers touch the screen they generate what looks like a powerful electrical field that makes the thousands of particles react beautifully. 
Kids (& adults) are often mesmerized by this app for a long time. [$ 1.99]

#5 Fruit Ninja: A “juicy” action game with squishy, splatty and satisfying fruit carnage! [$ 0.99]

 #4 Koi Pond: One is gazing into a pond of crystal clear water with fish, turtles and more. Kids run their fingers across the cool surface of the pond and water ripples away from their touch.
The koi fish, disturbed, dart away… only to quickly forget and swim close once more… [$ 0.99]

#3 Easy Bake Treats: This is a highly recommended app. It let’s children make, bake, decorate, eat and share virtual cakes, cupcakes, cookies, cake pops and pizza. They pick their mix, fill the pan with batter and water, mix it all together and slide the pan into the virtual oven to cook.  Then they can add candles to their cakes and cupcakes too! Candles can be lit and re-lit for even more fun! 
Once they’ve baked and decorated their treats, kids can show off and share their delicious virtual creations with family and friends via email or Facebook. Highly addictive – kids can spend a very long time on this! [free]!/id462795218?mt=8

#2 The Healing Buddies Comfort Kit™ app provides an interactive, virtual way for kids and teens to engage with the latest in integrative medicine techniques and activities to assist in the management of symptoms they may be experiencing. 
Kids and families are increasingly interested in options to improve health and wellness that involve taking fewer pills and that involve supporting their body’s natural, internal healing systems. -combining kid-friendly activities and pre-recorded audio exercises and instructions that teach self-care skills. The Healing Buddies Comfort Kit™ (mobile app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch platforms) offers an interactive, virtual way for kids and teens at home, in a doctor’s office, or in the hospital, to learn and immediately benefit from self-care techniques to manage common symptoms like pain, worries, nausea, fatigue and trouble sleeping. 

The Healing Buddies Comfort Kit™ contains several integrative medicine techniques adapted for use by children and teens that are quick and effective for symptom control so kids can get back to doing what they like to do–and need to do each day. The techniques included in this mobile app are designed by leaders in the field of Pediatric Integrative Medicine (Physicians, Nurses, Psychologists and Child Life Specialists) and have been tested for years in several leading Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. The app leads kids through these various techniques and activities, plus, the Healing Buddies™ make it a fun and engaging experience.

Techniques that kids will learn that are included in the Healing Buddies Comfort Kit™ include:

-Mental Imagery/Visualization: in this technique kids/teens will learn to use the power of their imagination to effect changes in physical and emotional activity.

-Relaxation Exercises: with these breathing and muscle control techniques, kids/teens will learn to calm down and balance the body and the nervous system which helps to reduce symptoms of pain and nausea, improves sleep and can have a powerful effect on controlling & even eliminating worries

-Acupressure: acupressure is part of the ancient Chinese medical system and involves applying pressure to “special points” on the body which in turn releases helpful chemicals and induces nervous system changes that can help to reduce pain, nausea, and anxiety

-Aromatherapy: aromatherapy, which involves smelling oils made from plants, has been around in most cultures for thousands of years. Smelling certain kinds of scented oils offers another tool for kids/teens to use to control unwanted symptoms/feelings

-Positive Self-Talk: this involves learning to be a “self-coach” and harnesses the power of positive thinking. [Disclaimer:

The creation of the mobile app has been a collaborative effort of my department at the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota with Ridgeview Medical Center and DesignWise Medical.]

 and the winner is…

#1 Balloonimals:  Absolutely groovy – kids love it! My favorite app to distract a child in pain or discomfort. Beautifully rendered balloon animals spring to life when you blow into the microphone on your iPhone/iPad or swipe with your iPod Touch. Watch the balloon inflate and then give your phone a shake to start constructing your Balloon animal. With each shake, your animal takes greater shape until… Voila! Your Balloon animal appears and is ready to play. Pet your “Balloonimal” to see what tricks it can do.


Also, check out the brand-new “Pain Squad” from SickKids in Toronto:

Apps, which just did not make the list (but I still like them a lot): Art of Glow, Sand Garden, Build a Zoo, Naturespace, SkyView and Disney’s Small World

And…a groovy App just out in October 2014: Pain Squad Mobile App

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto needed to find a way to encourage their young cancer patients to complete daily reports on their pain. With a little back-up from Canada’s top police dramas, our innovative mobile app made this overwhelming task easy and fun.




Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP Medical Director | Department of Pain Medicine, Palliative Care & Integrative Medicine | Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Twitter: @NoNeedlessPain