Pain scales measure how intense your child’s pain is or how much pain they are having. Pain measurements from a pain scale help the care team know how much pain your child is having. This helps the care team know how to treat the pain. It also helps the care team know if the pain treatment is helping.

The FACES-R pain scale for children is a self-reported pain scale. Self-reported pain scales are a more accurate measurement of your child’s pain because they are telling the care team how much pain they are having.

Who can use this pain scale?

The scale is used for patients who are 4 to 18 years old.

How to use the FACES-R pain scale for children

Your child is shown the 6 pictures below. They are told to pick a picture that best tells how much “hurt or pain” they are having at this time. Use words that seem right for your child. Remind them to pick a picture that tells how much they hurt, not how happy or sad they are feeling.

Say something like: “I want you to tell me more about the pain you are having. I am going to show you some pictures of some faces. Each face shows how much pain you are having. The first face shows no pain. Each additional face shows more pain. The last face shows the worst pain possible. Point to the face that shows how bad your pain/hurt is right now.”

How to score the pain scale

Score the chosen face 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10, counting left to right. So “0” is “No pain” and “10” is “Very much pain.” Do not use words like “happy” and “sad.” This scale is to measure how children feel inside, not how their face looks.


Pain scale for kids.

Used with permission from IASP. For clinical, educational, or research purposes, use of the FPS-R is free of charge, and permission for use is not needed, provided that the scale is not modified or altered in any way. (Access to multiple languages on download link)