British literature related to the care of children in hospital states that they have ‘special needs’ This concept is not defined, neither are different writers in total agreement about what these needs may be This paper attempts to define needs, concluding that they are‘requirements that should be met’Children are seen as dynamic beings because they are in a state of constant development, both physically and psychosocially It is this state of development that makes their needs special to them They have special requirements, which should be met in specific ways Through the presentation of indicators of behaviours which would enable such needs to be met, it can be demonstrated that children should be cared for by people with the appropriate knowledge and understanding When children are admitted to hospital there may be a number of different people involved in determining how a need should be met An important part of this process should be nurses who have been specially educated for work with this age group