Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan has said Irish doctors need better training in the non-clinical aspects of how to deal with children in their care.
Her comments come ahead of the launch of a report on how to improve Irish children's experience of healthcare - both at GP and hospital level.
The Child-Healthcare report - carried out by researchers at University College Cork - calls for all medical professionals to be trained on how to speak to children; an improved complaints system; and having "child-friendly" wards in every hospital.
Child-Friendly Healthcare Report commissioned by the OCO published today. Launch underway here in the office #UniversalChildrensDay— Emily Logan 🦋 (@CC_IHREC) November 20, 2013
Ms Logan said that it is time for a fresh approach.
"Having a child who is ill places a family in a very, very vulnerable position," she said.
"They literally hand over and entrust their children's lives to healthcare professionals and we're trying to encourage those health professionals to take time to acknowledge that that upset and vulnerability is there, as well as the clinical, whether it's the surgery or the medicine, there are other elements that create a really good outcome for children and families."