FLACC Pain Scale
Learn how to use the FLACC Pain Scale to assess pain in pediatric patients. Download a free FLACC scale PDF template for quick reference.
What is FLACC Pain Scale?
Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience ranging from mild to severe. It is a complex phenomenon involving physical, mental, and emotional aspects. As such, assessing pain in patients can be tricky, especially in younger individuals.
The FLACC Pain Scale was developed to help healthcare providers evaluate pain intensity in pediatric patients who are either too young or unable to express their feelings accurately.
FLACC stands for “Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability”. It is a simple 2-point scale that measures pain intensity in infants, toddlers, and pre-verbal children. It uses the following parameters:
- Face. The nurse or doctor looks at a patient’s facial expression to determine their pain level.
- Legs. The nurse or doctor observes the patient’s legs for any signs of discomfort.
- Activity. The patient’s activity levels, such as movement, restlessness, or hyperactivity, are considered.
- Cry. The nurse or doctor assesses the patient’s crying and how often they cry in response to pain.
- Consolability. The nurse or doctor assesses how easily the patient is comforted and calmed down.
Although the scale was developed for pediatric patients, clinicians may use it to assess pain in adult patients who cannot accurately verbalize their pain levels.
Printable FLACC Pain Scale
Download this FLACC Pain Scale and assess your client’s changes and improvements.
How does this FLACC Pain Scale work?
The FLACC Pain Scale is a simple 2-point scale that rates patients’ pain levels. The patient's score is assigned based on their observed behavior related to the five abovementioned parameters.
To use this free FLACC template, follow these steps:
Step One: Access the free FLACC template
Download our free FLACC Pain Scale using the link provided on this page. Similarly, you can access it using the Carepatron app or our resources library.
Step Two: Observe the patient
Observe the patient’s behavior according to each parameter and assign a score from 0-2.
Step Three: Calculate the patient's score
Add up all the scores to get a total number. This is the patient’s pain score according to FLACC Pain Scale.
Step Four: Interpret the result
Interpreting the result of the FLACC Pain Scale depends on your experience and expertise. Generally, a score of 0 is considered relaxed and comfortable, 1-3 is considered mild discomfort, 4-6 as moderate pain, and 7-10 as severe pain or discomfort.
Step Five: Document the results
Document the score for future reference. Ensure to keep your patient’s record in a safe and secure location.
FLACC Pain Scale example (sample)
We have created a FLACC Pain Scale example to give you a clear picture of using this free template for your practice. This sample is for a 4-year-old fictitious patient and illustrates the five components and their respective scores. You can view the sample here or download the PDF version for reference.
Download the FLACC Pain Scale example (sample)
When to use a FLACC Pain Scale PDF?
You can utilize the FLACC Pain Scale to assess pain in pediatric patients, preverbal children, and those who cannot express their pain verbally or accurately. You can also use this if or when:
The patient is too young to express pain verbally
You can use the FLACC Pain Scale to assess pain intensity in infants and toddlers.
The patient suffers from cognitive impairment
Patients with cognitive impairments can sometimes have trouble expressing their feelings, making it difficult to assess pain accurately. The FLACC Pain Scale can be an effective tool for evaluating these patients.
You need an accurate view of how much pain a patient is experiencing
The FLACC Pain Scale can assess a patient’s pain level, even when they cannot verbalize it. It is a useful tool for setting up an appropriate treatment plan for patients with pain.
You have to assess pain in an unconscious patient
If a patient is unconscious, you may use the FLACC Pain Scale to evaluate their pain. This can be especially helpful in a hospital where patients cannot express pain.
The patient is agitated and restless
For agitated, restless, or confused patients, the FLACC Pain Scale can help measure their pain levels.
Who is this Printable FLACC Pain Scale for?
This free FLACC Pain Scale PDF is an effective and reliable tool for evaluating pain in pediatric patients, preverbal children, and adults. It is helpful for:
- General practitioners
- Emergency room staff
- Occupational therapists
You can use this tool in emergency and hospital settings and clinical practice. Additionally, the FLACC Pain Scale can be used as a complementary tool alongside other assessment tools, such as the Wong-Baker Faces Pain Scale.
Benefits of free FLACC Pain Assessment
Our free FLACC Pain Scale PDF is an easy-to-use tool to help you measure and document your patients' pain levels. It offers heaps of benefits:
The FLACC Pain Scale is easy to administer, providing results in no time. It can help you quickly assess a patient's pain level and provide the appropriate treatment.
It's suitable for all ages
You can use this free assessment tool for all ages, from infants to elderly patients. It is also effective for patients who are preverbal or unable to express their pain levels verbally.
You can customize the FLACC Pain Scale according to the patient's age and condition. It is also flexible enough to accommodate changes in pain levels over time.
It provides reliable results
The FLACC Pain Scale is a validated tool that offers consistent and reliable results. You can trust it to give you an accurate measure of your patient's pain levels.
It is fully digital
This FLACC Pain Scale PDF is a fully digital tool. You can easily store and access the results digitally and share them with other health professionals. But you can also print out the PDF version if you prefer.
Commonly asked questions
The FLACC Pain Scale is one of the most popular pain assessment tools in pediatric settings. It is simple, easy to use, suitable for all ages, and provides reliable results.
The FLACC Pain Scale is based on five criteria: facial expression, leg movement, activity level, cry, and consolability. Each criterion is scored on a scale of 0-2, and the total score is calculated to determine the pain level.
Sandra Merkel, MS, RN, Terri Voepel-Lewis, MS, RN, and Shobha Malviya, MD, at C. S. Mott Children's Hospital, University of Michigan Health System developed the FLACC Pain Scale to assess pain in pediatric patients.
Why use this FLACC Pain Scale app?
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Merkel S, Voepel-Lewis T, Shayevitz JR, et al: The FLACC: A behavioural scale for scoring postoperative pain in young children. Pediatric nursing 1997; 23:293-797.