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November 8, 1958


JAMA. 1958;168(10):1376-1377. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000100078014

OR A CHILD to be removed from his parents, placed in strange surroundings, and subjected to a variety of unpleasant procedures is apt to be psychologically traumatic under the best of circumstances. The extent of such a trauma depends on such factors as the age of the child, the length of his hospitalization, the closeness of the parent-child relationship prior to admission, how well he was prepared for the new experience, the nature of the child's illness, the nature of the required treatment, the basic personality of the child, the frequency of parental visits, the type of nursing care provided, and the presence of other children on the ward. Illingworth1 elaborates on many of these factors. A child naturally has a feeling of helplessness but this does not cause undue anxiety unless the situation appears to the child to be a threatening one. If an anesthetic must be given