This study assessed the efficacy of buffered lidocaine in children and adults for the repair of simple lacerations. We compared plain lidocaine (PL) with buffered lidocaine (BL) in a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Children had a 10-point pain score assessed by a nurse using predetermined behavior criteria, and a visual analog pain score (VAS) as perceived by the parent. Adult visual analog scores were self reported. In 135 adults, the median VAS was 2.1 for PL and 2.0 for BL. In 136 children, the median nurse-rated pain score was 4.5 for both PL and BL. The parent's median VAS was 4.5 for PL and 4.0 for BL. In contrast to previous studies, we conclude that buffered lidocaine does not reduce infiltration pain in children or adults.