How do children understand sickness?

What is a two year old thinking when they get a shot? What is a four year old thinking when they’ve got a fever of 103 and their body hurts? What does a 10 year old think about death?

I began thinking about these things when I was a medical student doing a rotation in Child Psychiatry. Pediatrics is such a huge field and there are millions of interactions with sick children every day. I figured there would be a ton of research in this area. There wasn’t then and there isn’t now. It’s fascinating! Why not? If a pediatrician’s “customers” are children, shouldn’t they deeply understand the minds of their customers?

Also…this is good for parents to understand how to talk to their kids when they’re sick. Super interesting stuff…