Coming soon: AboutKidsHealth is getting a new look! Learn more Watch a video tour

Pain Resource Centre


​​About the Pain Resource Centre

The content in this condition centre has been organized to follow the natural course of investigation. The site examines pain from symptom recognition, to diagnosis, to treatment, to long-term outcomes. Although it is not essential, it is recommended that the material be read using this progression.

The information in this site has come from many sources and has been adapted in collaboration with the Pain Team at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Please remember that this information should only be used as a guide. Every child's situation is unique. If you have specific questions about your own child's care, please speak to your child's doctor.

About Pain

This section helps you understand what pain is, how it is felt, and the reasons why it occurs.

Assessing Pain

Assessment is critical in order to select a proper approach to treating pain. This section provides key information about how your child's pain is assessed, as well as the different factors that affect how pain is felt.

Treatment of Pain

Unless there is an immediate life-saving priority, relieving pain should begin immediately. Relieving pain is often a team effort involving health care professionals, the child, and parents.

Pain at Home

Some pain occurs at home and can be relieved at home. In other cases, pain is more long term and will still be present even after a trip to the hospital. This section provides advice on effectively treating different types of pain at home.

Pain: Looking Ahead

This section contains information on the long-term treatment of chronic pain and how it affects aspects of a child’s life, from school to socializing. It also addresses how to manage the transition from child to adult care to ensure a healthy future. Discussions of the long-term risks of pain and the ongoing research efforts in the field of pain assessment and treatment are also included.

How do we feel pain?

Even though we may feel pain in a certain area of the body, pain really occurs in the brain

How do pain medicines work?

The decision to use one particular type of medicine over another will depend on the age of your child and the severity and type of pain she experiences.

How can you tell if your child is in pain?

No method of measuring pain is perfect. The most important method is probably what your child tells you.

Kimberley Meighan, RN

Fiona Campbell, BSc, MD, FRCA