Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
A sentient cloud looms above the cold steel table when performing
diagnostic studies upon children as traditional well-intentioned attempts
to engage in funny conversation aided by anatomically radiopaque teddies
are rendered instantly futile and the pseudoursines propelled clear across
both the IV stand and the wide-eyed parental icon (one patient or two?).
In an atmosphere increasingly charged by artificial political
correctness, it almost always works best to let the child initiate talk
when possible and then run with it, if you can. I always learn more: just
why exactly would a five year old prefer the Beatles over Britney Spears?
More importantly, will a discussion of a racy telly show help us all get
through the torturous vicissitudes of a voiding study without having to
consciously sedate the parent who seems in imminent danger of a vasovagal
episode? There is always common ground to be found: it just isn't that
common or as grounded in my reality.