Introduction: Previous research has indicated that pain influences children's daily lives, resulting in absence from school, sleep problems, poor school performance and problems with social activities. Our study aims to characterise the nature, extent, impact and cost of chronic pain among Irish children.Methods and analysis: Using cluster-systematic random sampling, primary schools will be invited to participate and 6000 5-12-year-olds asked to complete questionnaires in school classrooms, at time points 1 year apart. Questionnaires will use internationally valid psychometric measures to assess a range of quality of life factors and chronic pain indicators among children, with corresponding parental/primary caregiver questions, which will be completed at home. Data will also be gathered on the cost of chronic pain. Space will be given for comments on how pain impacts on participants' lives and possible coping mechanisms.Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval has been granted by the Research Ethics Committee, National University of Ireland, Galway. Dissemination of results will be via journal articles and conference presentations on the various aspects of the study (ie, prevalence, impact and economic cost of chronic pain among 5-12-yearolds living in Ireland).