Carlo Belliene and his team from Le Scatte Clinic set out to compare the effects of a mother actively soothing and distracting a child with the passive use of a television set showing cartoons. They divided 69 children, aged between 7 and 12, into three groups at random. One group was given no distractions at all while a vein was punctured to take a blood sample. In the second group a parent (normally the mother) tried to distract and soothe the child. The third group of children watched cartoons for at least two minutes before the sample was taken.
The children given no distractions at all felt the pain of the puncture the most, rating it at an average of 23.04. Those soothed and distracted by their mothers gave a rating of 17.39; and those who watched cartoons gave a much lower rating, 8.91.
Aug 17, 2006
A mother is better than nothing
But if you really want to comfort your child, just plop him in front of the TV.