Kid's Comfort Promise

Making Pokes Hurt Less

The UMass Memorial Medical Center - Children’s Medical Center Kid's Comfort Promise (KCP) is a multidisciplinary approach to decreasing the pain and emotional stress caused by needlesticks like shots, blood draws and IVs.  We commit to our patients and families that we will use simple tools and techniques to make the needlestick experience as good as possible. 

Making Pokes Hurt Less in 4 simple steps:

  1. Numbing: Using numbing creams or tools that decrease the pain (like cold spray and ShotBlocker), the poke can hurt much less.
  2. Sugar water or breastfeeding: A special sugar water can be given to a baby 6 months or younger helps decrease the pain they feel.  Also, babies who normally breastfeed can do this during their poke to help relax them.
  3. Comfort positions: Being in a position that feels comfortable helps make your child less stressed. Swaddling or snuggling a baby, allowing a child to sit on a lap or an older kid being able to sit upright in a chair are all positions that help increase feelings of safety. 
  4. Distractions: When your child is distracted and thinking about something else, the poke doesn’t hurt as much. 


Watch the Kids Comfort Promise Video


Making Pokes Hurt Less:


Need Extra Support?

If your child's needs are more complex, (he or she has a need phobia, sensory issues, etc.) and you would like support in developing an individualized Poke Plan for you child, please contact our Kid's Comfort Promise Child Life Specialist at


Thank You To Our Generous Supporters:

  • Derby for Drew

  • Innovation Fund

  • Gift Book Donors

  • DCU For Kids

  • Children's Medical Center Family Advisory Committee

  • Alice M. Eaton Trust

  • Vallancourt Folk Art