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Short-term Effectiveness of Anticipatory Guidance to Reduce Early Childhood Risks for Subsequent Violence

J. Ronald Walcher, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(9):964. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170460102028.
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I would like to comment on 2 aspects of the article concerning anticipatory guidance in the April Archives.1 First, I would like to comment on the use of time-out procedures and make a suggestion to improve their effectiveness. I have seen for some time the recommendation that the duration of the time-out should correlate with the child's chronological age. In a relatively compliant child this is probably a reasonable approach. This is the child who either cooperatively or with gentle guidance goes to the time-out location and remains there until told he or she may get up. For many children, and in my experience most children, the duration of the time-out is properly dictated by the child's response to the time-out. Most young children become upset and cry vigorously when placed in time-out. The time-out is over when they transition from vigorous crying to the whimper stage (or, as

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