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General Pediatric Standard

In situations involving a pediatric patient, the paramedic shall:

  1. during the primary survey, be aware of problems arising due to pediatric anatomy and physiology;
  2. be aware that respiratory arrest is the primary cause of pediatric cardiac arrest;
  3. recognize normal vital signs as per the ALS PCS;


Recall that pediatric CTAS levels and GCS differ from those for adults. Determine CTAS as per the Prehospital CTAS Paramedic Guide.

  1. consider assessments for,
    1. change in appetite,
    2. change in behaviour/personality,
    3. excessive drooling,
    4. for patients in diapers, decrease in number of wet diapers,
    5. inconsolable crying or screaming,
    6. lethargy,
    7. patient positioning (e.g. tripoding), and
    8. work of breathing;


Pediatric patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms and may deteriorate rapidly. Maintain a high index of suspicion when assessing pediatric patients.

  1. if performing a full secondary survey, conduct from “toe-to-head”;
  2. have caregivers present during patient care unless they are interfering with the care; and
  3. for infant patients, assess fontanelles.


When handling an infant patient, ensure that proper support is provided to the head and neck.


Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
5700 Yonge Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, ON M2M 4K5