Section III. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS OF THE ILL OR INJURED CHILD
A FRIGHTENED CHILD
A number of things frighten children who are either ill or injured, including the
a. Disability or discomfort. The child cannot always describe the pain.
b. Presence of strangers and hospital personnel dressed in white.
c. Separation from parents. His parents, his main support system, have taken
care of his hurts before. He will be more frightened if they are not with him.
d. Atmosphere of panic, confusion, or distress. A child often senses a stressful
atmosphere from stories viewed on television programs or from the parent's comments.
For example, the words "The nurse will give you a shot." are very frightening to ill or
Dealing with a child patient who does not feel well and who is afraid can be
difficult for the child and for you. Here are some helpful tips to improve the situation.
a. Be calm, patient, and gentle.
b. Be honest. NEVER lie to a child patient. Tell him when he will feel pain
during the examination. If he wants to know if he is sick or hurt, tell him that he is,
emphasizing that you are there to help him.
c. Try not to separate the child from his parents--even if the parents are also
injured. The child may imagine the situation much worse than it is if he is not with his
APPROACHING THE INJURED OR SICK CHILD
Again, children in different age groups will need to be approached a little
differently. Look at the following:
a. Infants. Allow the mother maximum contact with her infant at the scene of
the injury and while the infant is being transferred to a medical treatment facility.