PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

Should you tell a child about a life-threatening illness?

ANSWER

Yes. Even a 3- or 4-year-old child is old enough to know in simple terms what's happening. Talking death creates the opportunity for closure -- both for the child and the person who is dying. When talking to a young child, it's important to not give too much information. And what you do say should always be age appropriate.

SOURCES:

Leisa Rebold, MSW, social worker, Capital Caring, Washington, D.C.

Sean Morrison, MD, director, National Palliative Care Research Center, New York.

Hermann Merkin, professor of Palliative Care, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on September 11, 2017

SOURCES:

Leisa Rebold, MSW, social worker, Capital Caring, Washington, D.C.

Sean Morrison, MD, director, National Palliative Care Research Center, New York.

Hermann Merkin, professor of Palliative Care, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on September 11, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What is an advance directive?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: