This isn't in First Aid, but I got a question on it in the free 150 usmle questions.
Death should be discussed honestly and in language that children can understand at their stage of development. A child's concept of death varies with age, and this must be taken into consideration.
Age 0 - 2 years:
- Sees death as separation or abandonment
- Has no cognitive understanding of death
- Feels despair from disruption of caretaking
Age 2 - 6 years:
- Often believes that death is reversible, temporary
- May perceive death as a punishment
- Engages in magical thinking that wishes come true -- may feel guilt for negative feelings toward the person who died, and think that was the cause of death
Age 6 - 11 years:
- Shows gradual understanding of irreversibility and finality of death
- Demonstrates concrete reasoning with ability to comprehend cause and effect relationship
Age 11 years or older:
- Understands that death is irreversible, universal, and inevitable
- Has abstract and philosophical thinking