Supporting the Family After the Death of a Child or Adolescent.
Whether death occurs in the context of a chronic illness or as the sudden loss of a previously healthy infant, child, or adolescent, the death of a child is a highly stressful and traumatic event. Psychosocial support for families after the death of a child embodies core medical values of professional fidelity, compassion, respect for human dignity, and promotion of the best interests of a grieving family. The pediatrician has an important role in supporting the family unit after the death of a child through a family-centered, culturally humble, trauma-informed approach. This clinical report aims to provide the pediatrician with a review of the current evidence on grief, bereavement, and mourning after the loss of a child and with practical guidance to support family caregivers, siblings, and the child's community. Pediatricians have an important role in helping siblings and helping families understand sibling needs during grief. Ways for pediatricians to support family members with cultural sensitivity are suggested and other helpful resources in the community are described.
Weaver MS, Nasir A, Lord BT, et al. Supporting the Family After the Death of a Child or Adolescent. Pediatrics. 2023;152(6):e2023064426. doi:10.1542/peds.2023-064426