Ventilator-associated pneumonia, the second most common hospital-acquired infection in pediatric intensive care units, is linked to increased morbidity, mortality, and lengths of stay in the hospital and intensive care unit, adding tremendously to health care costs. Prevention is the most appropriate intervention, but little research has been done in children to identify necessary skills and strategies. Critical care nurses play an important role in identification of risk factors and prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia. A care bundle based on factors, including evidence regarding the pathophysiology and etiology of pneumonia, mechanical ventilation, duration of ventilation, and age of the child, can offer prompts and consistent prevention strategies for providers caring for children in the pediatric intensive care unit. Following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adapting an adult model also can support this endeavor. Ultimately, the bedside nurse directs care, using best evidence to prevent this important health care problem.

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