Clinical Trials in Children
Information for parents and caregivers
Clinical trials in children are very important because they help researchers discover the best way to treat children. Children are not just small adults – their bodies work in very different ways and they often undergo many changes as they grow from infancy towards adolescence and adulthood. Because their bodies work differently, it’s important to create child-specific medicines and treatments instead of just modifying adult doses and therapies.
Clinical trials in children need to pass rigorous ethical evaluations and meet certain standards before being allowed to recruit patients.
Can I enroll my child in a clinical trial?
Researchers often have specific requirements when enroling particpants. If you are interested in enroling your child in a clinical trial, you should ask your health care provider for more information. She or he may then refer you to the appropriate investigator.
Consent and Assent
Before your child is enroled in a study, it’s important that you and your child understand the risks and benefits of participating. Because your child is a minor, you may be legally required to give informed consent allowing them to participate. Your child may also need to give their assent after having the trial explained to them in an age-appropriate manner. Both you and your child should have the chance to ask any questions you want before you agree to participate, and also at any time during the study.