There are many things that can influence a child’s perception of pain and how they behave when experiencing pain. These include age, culture, level of cognitive development, family learning, any previous experiences of pain, the child’s temperament and personality. Fear can play a large part on a child’s perception of pain therefore it is important to deal with potentially painful experiences effectively. During childhood , a positive experience may prevent anxiety and fear associated with pain being carried over into adult life.
If optimal pain management in children is to be achieved, accurate pain assessment is fundamental. This should involve a physical assessment and a clinical interview with the child and their parent/carer. The use of an age and context appropriate pain intensity measurement tool is essential.