Current methods for evaluating chronic pain in children suffer from methodological problems. Real-time data capture approaches using electronic diaries have been proposed as a new standard for pain measurement. However, there is limited information available regarding the development, feasibility and validity of these approaches in children. The present paper reviews problems with current measures; rationale for developing real-time data capture approaches using electronic diaries; mechanics of developing electronic pain diaries; current evidence regarding their usability, feasibility and validity; and discusses future directions for research in this area.