The following is an announcement from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Section on Pediatric Surgery.
This is a revision of the previous joint Policy Statement titled “Guidelines for Care of Children in the Emergency Department.” Children have unique physical and psychosocial needs that are heightened in the setting of serious or life-threatening emergencies. The majority of children who are ill and injured are brought to community hospital emergency departments (EDs) by virtue of proximity. It is therefore imperative that all EDs have the appropriate resources (medications, equipment, policies, and education) and capable staff to provide effective emergency care for children. In this Policy Statement, we outline the resources necessary for EDs to stand ready to care for children of all ages.
These recommendations are consistent with the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (now called the National Academy of Medicine) in its report “The Future of Emergency Care in the US Health System.” Although resources within emergency and trauma care systems vary locally, regionally, and nationally, it is essential that ED staff, administrators, and medical directors seek to meet or exceed these recommendations to ensure that high-quality emergency care is available for all children. These updated recommendations are intended to serve as a resource for clinical and administrative leadership in EDs as they strive to improve their readiness for children of all ages.