Checklists have been recognized by multiple industries as a valuable tool to reduce errors of omission. In the busy environment of a pediatric intensive care unit, adverse events are common and can have severe consequences. Researchers have focused on developing evidence-based practice guidelines; however, the nature of human error means that consistent application of this evidence in practice is challenging.


To develop an evidence-based checklist as a tool to reduce preventable adverse events and enhance clinical care in pediatric intensive care units.


After a systematic review of literature and a retrospective review of local reporting of adverse events in pediatric intensive care units, nominal group technique was used to determine the structure and content for the checklist.


An 8-element mnemonic checklist (KIDS SAFE) was developed: kids' development needs, infection, deep-vein thrombosis prophylaxis, skin integrity, sedation, analgesia, family, and enteral needs.


Prevention of adverse events is better than cure. Use of the KIDS SAFE checklist has the potential to reduce errors of omission in pediatric intensive care units.

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