This paper provides a practical approach to the difficult problem of planning for a major incident involving children.It offers guidance on how general principles resulting from an expert Delphi study can be implemented regionally and locally. All phases of the response are covered including preparation, management of the incident, delivery of medical support during the incident, and recovery and support. A check list for regional planners is provided. Supplementary equipment is discussed and action cards for key roles in the paediatric hospital response are shown. Particular emphasis is placed on management of the secondary-tertiary interface including the special roles of paediatric assessment teams and paediatric transfer teams. A paediatric primary triage algorithm is provided. The important role of local interpretation of guidance is emphasised.
(Arch Dis Child 1999;80:410-413)