The purpose of this study was to reveal the 8–12-year-old children's perceptions on the use of methods for pediatric postoperative pain alleviation by themselves, their parents and nurses. Face-to-face structured interviews were conducted with 59 subjects who had undergone surgical procedures in three provincial hospitals in Fujian Province, China in 2004. Content analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. According to the children's perceptions, they commonly used rest/sleeping, a physical method (positioning) and a strategy of emotional support (requiring presence of their parents); their parents frequently used helping with daily activities and all strategies of emotional support; the nurses mostly used a strategy of emotional support (comforting) and a physical method (positioning). Children's suggestions mainly concerned the application of non-pharmacological methods, especially presence of caregivers. In conclusion, pain-relieving methods were not sufficiently used although children suffered from intense postoperative pain, which calls for health-care providers' future attention.