Understanding someone’s pain through pain assessment is the first step to pain management.
You can assess pain in children by:
• Observing their behaviour and reactions, or
• Asking them to tell you about their pain
There are various pain tools to help assess pain. The choice of tool is based on the child’s age and their ability to self-assess.
Read BC Children's Pain Assessment Standard to learn about our approach.
This page lists pain scales and behaviours that can indicate how much pain your child is feeling.
The following pages from SickKids Hospital provide key points on pain assessment, depending on your child's age and kind of pain:
Your health care team will suggest the best pain scale to help your child or youth communicate about their pain.
If your child can self-assess their pain (point on a scale), they may use:
If your child is young, non-verbal or not able to self-assess, they may use:
You know your child best. Please share any behaviour changes you notice with your child's health care team.
If your child’s pain gets worse, or if the recommended treatments do not help:
BC Children’s Hospital promotes a balanced, collaborative partnership between:
We are committed to improving health outcomes and services. Learn about our approach in Mind-body techniques: Helping children to cope with painful procedures.
For more information about supporting your child’s pain and services available at BC Children’s go to our Pain management and comfort webpage.