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About Israel Green-Hopkins, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor
Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
Benioff Children's Hospital
University of California, San Francisco
24 05, 2016

PEM Pearls: This may hurt! How to manage pediatric anxiety in the ED

2017-10-26T14:33:41+00:00

screaming child

Pain and anxiety in the emergency department (ED) are two of the most common things we see in children. Pediatric patients, whether first time visitors or those with chronic illnesses, can exhibit marked anxiety and fear when in the ED setting. Child development, parenting styles and prior medical experiences will  guide their reactions in these cases. Practitioners must have a unique set of tools to work with these children and understand the optimal methods for providing care, while decreasing some of these normal reactions to a stressful environment. The most important part of treating anxiety and fear in children is recognizing it early. While pharmacologic interventions can adequately treat pain and anxiety in children, there are quick and effective approaches to avoid these medicines in many cases. Below is a structured approach to assess and reduce anxiety during examination:

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