Pediatric Readiness in Emergency Medical Services Systems

Pediatrics. 2020 Jan;145(1):e20193308. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-3308. Epub 2019 Dec 19.


Ill and injured children have unique needs that can be magnified when the child's ailment is serious or life-threatening. This is especially true in the out-of-hospital environment. Providing high-quality out-of-hospital care to children requires an emergency medical services (EMS) system infrastructure designed to support the care of pediatric patients. As in the emergency department setting, it is important that all EMS agencies have the appropriate resources, including physician oversight, trained and competent staff, education, policies, medications, equipment, and supplies, to provide effective emergency care for children. Resource availability across EMS agencies is variable, making it essential that EMS medical directors, administrators, and personnel collaborate with outpatient and hospital-based pediatric experts, especially those in emergency departments, to optimize prehospital emergency care for children. The principles in the policy statement "Pediatric Readiness in Emergency Medical Services Systems" and this accompanying technical report establish a foundation on which to build optimal pediatric care within EMS systems and serve as a resource for clinical and administrative EMS leaders.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Mass Casualty Incidents
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Pediatrics / organization & administration*