Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Non-Pharmacologic Resources for the Evaluation and Management of Pediatric Acute Agitation and Behavioral Escalation

Technology #7351

The most common reason for pediatric referrals to mental health services include agitation, behavior escalations and aggression. Currently, 30 – 40% of psychiatric consultations are related to agitation or aggression. Most pediatric care providers are minimally trained for the identification, prevention, and management of these behaviors. Management of these behaviors is often reactive and less coordinated, resulting in the use of restraints and psychoactive PRN medications. Therefore, non-pharmacologic, proactive, and preventative evidence-based strategies are needed for improved management of pediatric agitation, behavioral escalation and aggression.

Non-pharmacologic resources for the evaluation & management of pediatric acute agitation and behavioral escalation

A bundle of several non-pharmacologic resources to prevent, identify, address, and manage pediatric acute agitation and behavioral escalations. These resources include: 1.) A form for caregivers, titled “Helpful Tips for My Child”, which helps document adverse medication exposures/reactions that could influence behavior, and provides a space for caretaker assessment. 2.) A color-coded intervention and resource guide intended to be a bedside resource or poster/staff resource. 3.) Scripts and FAQ documents for additional assistance. 4.) A PowerPoint slide, including video, explaining the provided resources. 5.) A 2-question screening tool for assessment.


  • Prevention of agitation, aggression and behavioral escalation in high-risk pediatric patients
  • Enhanced education on agitation and aggression in inpatient care settings and emergency rooms
  • Early identification of pediatric patients at risk for agitation or aggression during their emergency room or inpatient setting
  • Non-pharmacologic management of agitation, behavior escalation and aggression in emergency room and inpatient care settings.


  • Provides a simple standardized communication system regarding agitation and behavior escalation
  • Enables preventive measure to reduce the risk of agitation and behavior escalation in the clinic
  • The first non-pharmacologic bedside tool to address and de-escalate the pediatric patient Avoid using “novel” and “new” to describe technology.Bottom of Form