• Article 1

    Children shall be admitted to hospital only if the care they require cannot be equally well provided at home or on a day basis.

  • Article 2

    Children in hospital shall have the right to have their parents or parent substitute with them at all times.

  • Article 3
    1. Accommodation should be offered to all parents and they should be helped and encouraged to stay.
    2. Parents should not need to incur additional costs or suffer loss of income. 
    3. In order to share in the care of their child, parents should be kept informed about ward routine and their active participation encouraged.
  • Article 4
    1. Children and parents shall have the right to be informed in a manner appropriate to age and understanding.
    2. Steps should be taken to mitigate physical and emotional stress.
  • Article 5
    1. Children and parents have the right to informed participation in all decisions involving their health care.
    2. Every child shall be protected from unnecessary medical treatment and investigation.
  • Article 6
    1. Children shall be cared for together with children who have the same developmental needs and shall not be admitted to adult wards.
    2. There should be no age restrictions for visitors to children in hospital.
  • Article 7

    Children shall have full opportunity for play, recreation and education suited to their age and condition and shall be in an environment designed, furnished, staffed and equipped to meet their needs.

  • Article 8

    Children shall be cared for by staff whose training and skills enable them to respond to the physical, emotional and developmental needs of children and families.

  • Article 9

    Continuity of care should be ensured by the team caring for children.

  • Article 10

    Children shall be treated with tact and understanding and their privacy shall be respected at all times.

    Introduction EACH Charter & Annotations

    EACH – European Association for Children in Hospital – is an international umbrella organisation open to European non-governmental, non-profit associations involved in the welfare of children in hospital and other healthcare services. In 1988 EACH members created a Charter stipulating in 10 points the rights of sick children and their families before, during and after a stay in hospital and in other healthcare services. Since its adoption in 1988 the EACH Charter has been used by EACH members as guidance for protecting the rights and well-being of sick children and eventually has served as a basis for healthcare legislation and professional guidelines in many European countries.

    The rights mentioned in the Charter apply to all sick children, regardless of their illness, age or disability, their origin or their social or cultural background, or of any possible reason for treatment or forms or places of treatment, whether as in-patients or out-patients.

    In view of the different stages of development of national healthcare systems in Europe, the EACH Committee decided in 2001 to explain the meaning and implications of the Charter in more detail in the form of Annotations. Since 2001 many national healthcare systems have been repeatedly re-worked; more sick children are being cared for at home instead of in hospital. In addition, the living conditions of many families have changed, economic pressures and uncertainties have increased, and some progress that had already been achieved with the implementation of the Charter has been reversed. The basic needs of sick children are, however, still the same.

    In light of the present social situation and recent developments in healthcare, the EACH Committee decided to update the Annotations to the Charter to indicate the changes that are still required to be made in order to realize family oriented healthcare for children and young people in all healthcare settings. EACH members expect that the Charter and its revised Annotations will contribute to the well-being of children in healthcare systems across Europe.