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It didn't hurt

To appreciate the wonder of the human body and to understand that pain is important to healthy living.

by Laurence Chilcott

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To appreciate the wonder of the human body and to understand that pain is important to healthy living.

Preparation and materials

  • Display pictures of situations where children have been hurt – grazed knee, broken arm, leg in cast, etc.
  • Display pictures of situations that have potential to hurt – open fire, broken bottle, playground fall or collision, etc.
  • If a child, teacher or parent has recently been injured, you might like to invite them to talk about how this experience changed their way of life.
  • A discussion regarding harmful and helpful drugs could be linked appropriately to the development of pain relief and anaesthetics (see section 4).


  1. Imagine falling down and never hurting yourself – fantastic!
    Jamming your finger in a door and not feeling it – amazing!
    Never having toothache – just great!
    Getting a blister from wearing new shoes and not bothering about it – wonderful!

    This was all true for a little boy called Paul. Superhero? No. He was born unable to feel any pain.
  2. By the time Paul was two years old he had broken an arm, had a serious internal infection and suffered burns, cuts and bruises in a series of childhood accidents.

    Throughout that time he had never cried or complained, never winced with the pain or even shown any concern.

    Because Paul couldn’t feel any pain he didn’t understand that others could, so he often hurt others without realizing it.

    Paul’s father had to give up his job to help his wife look after Paul because he needed to be watched twenty-four hours a day – to ensure he didn’t kill himself or injure another child.
  3. Far from being a dream, living without any pain is a nightmare. Pain is nature’s way of telling us something is wrong: if you don’t feel the pain of a bump on the head you won’t know if your skull has been weakened or fractured; if you can’t feel the pain of a leg injury you could end up unable to walk because tendons or muscles have been irreparably damaged; you might not feel the pain of a burn, but it doesn’t stop the skin being damaged and broken; an internal injury after a car accident could kill you if it is not diagnosed because you haven’t reported any pain. It is when we feel pain that we go to the doctor, and if we cannot feel pain a serious, or life threatening disease could go undiagnosed.

    Pain is essential if we are to look after our bodies properly.
  4. Some people are more sensitive to pain than others, but obviously some pain is more than we can bear. When people have an operation in hospital they are given anaesthetic to deaden any sensation of pain that they would otherwise feel.

    Before the time of anaesthetics patients who needed to have a limb amputated would be lucky if they got some brandy to drink. So it’s hardly surprising that many died of shock during or soon after the operation.
  5. The next time you feel a pain, don’t moan – just listen to your body talking.  

Time for reflection

Consider the wonder of the human body – the role of vital organs; the senses that enable us to understand our world and each other.

Think how we just take this for granted – until something goes wrong.

Father God,
we marvel at the wonder of our human bodies:
our senses that enable us to appreciate and understand
all that goes on around us;
our brains that allow us to think and plan and learn;
our limbs that allow us to walk and run and play together.
Although we don’t like pain,
we understand how important it is to keep us healthy.
We pray that we will not cause pain to anyone today.


‘Lord of all hopefulness’ (Come and Praise, 52)

Publication date: March 2013   (Vol.15 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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