Young children or children who are very sick often cannot tell us exactly what they are feeling. This can be quite distressing for their caregivers.

Many things affect a child’s experience of pain these can include

  • Their age
  • Their beliefs and understanding of what is causing the pain
  • The previous experiences
  • How they have learnt to respond

It is not always easy to know how much pain a child is in.  Listening to what they have to say and watching what they do can assist with this.

Things that may indicate a child is in pain include:

  • Crying
  • Facial changes or pulling faces
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Becoming quiet or withdrawn
  • Screaming
  • Refusing to move

Some children may tell us if they are hurting but may find it difficult to tell how much they are hurting.

Children can use a scale such as the Wong Baker Faces Pain Scale (Show below), This involves asking the child to point to a face that shows how much hurt they are feelings from no pain to hurts worst.