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Pediatr Ann. 2014 Nov;43(11):e260-5. doi: 10.3928/00904481-20141022-09.

Adequate supervision for children and adolescents.

Abstract

Primary care providers (PCPs) have the opportunity to improve child health and well-being by addressing supervision issues before an injury or exposure has occurred and/or after an injury or exposure has occurred. Appropriate anticipatory guidance on supervision at well-child visits can improve supervision of children, and may prevent future harm. Adequate supervision varies based on the child's development and maturity, and the risks in the child's environment. Consideration should be given to issues as wide ranging as swimming pools, falls, dating violence, and social media. By considering the likelihood of harm and the severity of the potential harm, caregivers may provide adequate supervision by minimizing risks to the child while still allowing the child to take "small" risks as needed for healthy development. Caregivers should initially focus on direct (visual, auditory, and proximity) supervision of the young child. Gradually, supervision needs to be adjusted as the child develops, emphasizing a safe environment and safe social interactions, with graduated independence. PCPs may foster adequate supervision by providing concrete guidance to caregivers. In addition to preventing injury, supervision includes fostering a safe, stable, and nurturing relationship with every child. PCPs should be familiar with age/developmentally based supervision risks, adequate supervision based on those risks, characteristics of neglectful supervision based on age/development, and ways to encourage appropriate supervision throughout childhood.

PMID:
25369578
DOI:
10.3928/00904481-20141022-09
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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