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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 474838, 11 pages
Review Article

Pain in Children: Assessment and Nonpharmacological Management

Division of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1X8

Received 30 January 2010; Accepted 4 May 2010

Academic Editor: Keira Mason

Copyright © 2010 Rasha Srouji et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pain perception in children is complex, and is often difficult to assess. In addition, pain management in children is not always optimized in various healthcare settings, including emergency departments. A review of pain assessment scales that can be used in children across all ages, and a discussion of the importance of pain in control and distraction techniques during painful procedures are presented. Age specific nonpharmacological interventions used to manage pain in children are most effective when adapted to the developmental level of the child. Distraction techniques are often provided by nurses, parents or child life specialists and help in pain alleviation during procedures.