The use of continuous paravertebral analgesia was studied in 15 children with a mean age of 9.8 years (2-16 years). Nine patients received pre-emptive and postoperative paravertebral analgesia while six children studied earlier in the series received only post operative paravertebral analgesia. Excellent pain relief was attained in all patients, as assessed by the graded pictures of facial expression or visual analogue pain scores and morphine requirements. There were no pulmonary complications and no complications related to the continuous paravertebral infusion of bupivacaine. We conclude that continuous paravertebral block is an effective and safe method for post thoracotomy pain relief in children.