HF 7713

Using Pediatric Pain Scales Faces Pain Scale 

We care about your child’s comfort. You know your child best. We want to partner with you to help control your child’s pain. If you have questions or concerns, please let your child’s nurse know. While we may not be able to totally get rid of all your child’s pain, we can reduce it.

Pain Assessment

The first step is to assess your child’s pain using pain scales. The type of scale we use is based on your child’s age, ability to communicate and preference. The pain scale you choose is used the whole time your child is in the hospital, unless your child’s condition changes.


We work with you and your child to come up with a goal for pain control.

Making a Plan

We will use medicine and non-drug methods to control your child’s pain. We will ask you what has worked before to control your child’s pain and put that into your child’s plan of care, if we are able to. We will also teach you about other methods for pain control. Often, medicine combined with other comfort methods will give the best pain relief.

If you think your child needs pain medicine, please let your child’s nurse know. In the hospital, a doctor must order pain medicine before a nurse can give it to a patient. Your child’s nurse works with you to decide what is needed. In clinic, your child’s doctor or nurse talks with you about a pain medicine plan.

What You Can Do

You can use some simple methods to comfort and distract your child if they seem to be in pain.

  • Repositioning

  • Singing or soft music

  • Gentle stroking

  • Rocking with your child in a rocking chair

  • Swaddling

  • Holding a comfort item or blanket

  • Watching a movie

  • Reading a book

  • Other things you do at home to comfort your child

Ask about our non-drug pain control options for kids. The nurse, nursing assistant or child life specialist can help you choose the best tools and show you how to use them.

Faces Pain Scale Revised (FPS-R)

This scale is often used with children ages 4-8 years old. It can also be used for older children who have trouble using the number scale. If they can use a number scale, then that is the scale they should use.

To use this scale, we will explain to your child that these faces show how much something can hurt. It is important not to include a number when talking about these faces as that can confuse your child. We will point to the different faces and explain that each shows a different level of pain (see Faces Pain Scale Revised images on the last page).

  1. First, we point to the left-most face and explain that this face shows no pain.

  2. Then, we will explain that the faces to the right show more and more pain.

  3. We will point to the right-most face and explain that it shows a lot of pain.

  4. We will ask your child to point to the face that shows how much they hurt right now.

Faces Pain Scale Revised (FPS-R)

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