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Pain in children

The RCN has completely revised and updated its guideline on the recognition and assessment of acute pain in children. The revised guideline identifies reliable and valid tools for measuring pain intensity in children, and includes a new section for measuring pain in children with cognitive impairments.

This page provides details of the resources and publications available for this clinical guideline.

Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists (2012) Good practice in postoperative and procedural pain management 2nd ed

Please note that this updated guideline for the management of postoperative and procedural pain in children developed by a multidisciplinary guideline development group which included the Royal College of Nursing, addresses and updates many of the issues explored by the RCN’s 2009 guideline on the recognition and assessment of acute pain in children. The APA’s guideline presents evidence-based recommendations and good practice points and should be referred to as the most up-to-date source. The guideline is made available as a supplement to Pediatric Anesthesia volume 22 July 2012 - see Good practice in postoperative and procedural pain management 2nd.ed.

Pain in children online resource

The full guideline in a range of formats, along with other with other content to support its implementation, is available as an online resource on the RCN website. Go to Pain in children.

Recognition and assessment of acute pain in children (full guideline)

Quick reference guide and poster

  • Publication type - Quick reference poster
  • Publication date - September 2009
  • Review date - see information about the Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists (2012) Good practice in postoperative and procedural pain management 2nd ed above 
  • RCN Publication code - 003 547
  • Availability - hard copy only
  • For a browsable version of the quick reference guide go to: Pain in children downloads

For further information and resources to support the implementation of the guideline go to Pain in children