Imelda Coyne and Paula Scott explore this controversial practice and the advice given in nursing policy
On children’s wards, restraint appears to be used often, rather than as a last resort, to assist the delivery of clinical procedures. The difference between restrictive physical intervention and therapeutic holding seems to depend on the degree of force used and whether the child gives consent. Restraint can have a negative emotional and psychological effect on children, parents or carers, and nurses. Healthcare staff need to examine their daily practice and always employ a range of interventions to seek a child’s co-operation with procedures. Restraint should only be used when there is no alternative in a life-threatening situation. It is essential that all hospitals providing care for children have an explicit restraint policy and provide education, training and guidance for all healthcare staff.
Nursing Children and Young People. 26, 2, 22-27. doi: 10.7748/ncyp2014.03.26.2.22.e403Correspondence
This article has been subject to open peer reviewConflict of interest
Received: 13 May 2013
Accepted: 04 October 2013
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