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Airing Pain 78: Putting Children’s Pain in the Picture

How children can express their pain in art, plus tips for parents

This edition is funded by a grant from the Stafford Trust.

‘In hospital. Don’t know what’s going to happen to me.’ These words, written by a child asked to describe her pain after surgery, speak of the anxiety caused by a failure to reassure and explain.

This edition of Airing Pain focuses on the communication challenges faced by children and those caring for them. Producer Paul Evans hears from Alyson Twycross and Bernie Carter – both are nurses and academics specialising in children’s pain – about how these barriers can be overcome using art produced by the children to represent their pain and its effect on them.

Twycross explains why it’s important for children to be informed and involved in decisions about their care. She also gives tips for parents on helping children recover from surgery and minimise the risk of developing post-surgical pain.

Issues covered in this programme include: Children and young people, communicating pain, family, arts and crafts, post-surgical pain, arthritis, managing consultations, medical research and misconceptions.


  • Alyson Twycross, Head of Department for Children’s Nursing, London Southbank University
  • Bernie Carter, Professor of Children’s Nursing, University of Central Lancashire
  • Zahra Baz and Aimee Gallagher (interviewed during the Northern Ireland Pain Summit 2015).
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