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Using Pediatric Pain Scales Faces Pain Scale (7713)

Using Pediatric Pain Scales Faces Pain Scale (7713) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Pediatrics, Parenting


Using Pediatric Pain Scales
Faces Pain Scale

At UW Health, we care about your child’s
comfort. You are an important member of
your child’s healthcare team. 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 speak up
and let your child’s nurse know. While we
may not be able to make your child pain
free, this is what we can do.

ξ Assess your child’s pain. This is the
first step to understand and treat
pain. We use pain scales based on
the child’s age, ability to
communicate and preference. We
work with you and your child to
decide which one works best. The
pain scale you choose is used the
whole time your child is in the
hospital unless your child’s condition
ξ Work with you and your child to
come up with a goal for pain control.
ξ Learn what has worked before to
control your child’s pain and put that
information in your child’s plan of
ξ Use medicine and non-drug methods
to control your child’s pain.
ξ Teach you about other methods you
can use to control your child’s pain.
Often a combination of medicine and
comfort methods will give the best pain
If you think medicine is needed, 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 pain medicine plan.

You can start using some simple methods if
your child seems uncomfortable or in pain.
These methods are often able to provide
comfort and distraction that may decrease
your child’s pain. At the hospital we have
options to provide pain control without
medicine. The nurse, nursing assistant or
child life therapist can work with you to
choose the best tools for your child. They
can give you tips about how to use the tools
that are chosen. We also have another
Health Fact for You titled Non-drug Pain
Control for Kids that gives tips based on
your child’s age. These methods can be
used with or without medicine. Pain control
research teaches us that the best pain control
happens when we combine medicines that
work in different ways, and non-drug
methods of pain control. We suggest you try
these non-drug methods with your child
when you feel they may be helpful.

Faces Pain Scale Revised (FPS-R)

We know these faces may look odd and
even scary to you. We offer you the option
to use this pain scale because it has been
studied and used in many cultures and is
found to work well.

We use this scale by telling children "These
faces show how much something can hurt.
This face [point to left-most face] shows no
pain. The faces show more and more pain
[point to each from left to right] up to this
one [point to right-most face] - it shows
very much pain. Point to the face that shows
how much you hurt [right now]." It is
important not to include a number with
talking about these faces as that can cause
confusion. These faces are used with
children who do not yet understand what the
number would represent. If they can use a
number scale appropriately, that is the scale
they should be using. Typically this scale is
used with children ages 4-8 years old. It can
be used in older children if the number scale
does not adequately describe their pain or
they have difficulty choosing a number to
represent the amount of pain they are

If you think your child is in pain, you could
help by using some of the non-drug methods
of pain control listed below.
ξ Repositioning
ξ Singing or soft music
ξ Gentle stroking
ξ Rocking with your child in a rocking
ξ Watching a movie
ξ Reading a book
ξ Heat or cold
ξ Other methods you use at home to
comfort your child

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7713