Preparing your child

The decision to allow your child to participate in a study requires careful consideration. For parents or caregivers, this decision comes with many questions and your doctor will be able to answer both you and your child. The decision to not participate in a study trial will not affect your child’s routine treatment.  

Your doctor should explain the goals, process and potential outcomes of the trial.

Acknowledging your child’s concerns or fears should allow for an open and honest conversation that will make him/her feel involved in the decision to take part in a study. To start, educate yourself about the study and then talk to your child about what to expect.

As a parent you need to understand:
  • The goal of the trial
  • The procedures and schedule
  • Parental Consent/Patient Assent
Download and print out this graphic that explains these terms and the pediatric trial process. Review it with your child. 

This conversation should be tailored to your child’s level of comprehension and maturity to ensure he/she understands their role in the study.

What to expect from your doctor 
Your doctor, or a member of the clinical trial team, will sit down with you and 
your child to explain clinical trials, the purpose of the study you are considering, and what your child can expect if he/she participates. This discussion should cover details of the screening process, as well as the visits and procedures that would be done throughout the study if he/she qualifies for study participation.

Feeling comfortable with your doctor
Before your child can participate in the study, they will be required to answer a range of personal questions, depending upon the type of study and your child’s age. These questions are used to understand whether the child is the right fit for a study. Some discussions may be embarrassing, such as talking about the risk of pregnancy with teenagers. Doctors are required to have these conversations for the safety of your child, but should make every effort to discuss it in an age-appropriate, culturally sensitive way.  Empower your child to participate in the conversation, ask questions, and be a member of the decision-making team.

Clinical Research Trial Search

"Diabetes" or "Asthma", for example.