When it comes to health care, kids are different.
Children need health care designed for their needs, involving families from start to finish and delivered by specially trained clinicians in environments designed just for kids.
Why do children need their own hospitals and specialty providers?
As patients, children require:
- Medication dosing and equipment sized for kids.
- Extra time, additional monitoring and tailored communications.
- Compassionate caregivers who understand kids’ physical, mental and behavioral development.
- Institutions committed to advancing children’s health and health care.
Most patients in a children’s hospital are between the ages of 0 and 14.
What do children’s hospitals do?
- Provide vital health care to all children, regardless of ability to pay. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids make up the largest segment of the U.S. population living in poverty. Children’s hospitals play a central role in advancing the health of all children from prevention to critical care. Because of the concentration of expertise and technology in children’s hospitals, the U.S. health care system depends on them to treat children with the most severe and complex conditions.
- Educate future providers. They provide a disproportionately large share of the nation’s health professional’s training and research aimed at producing positive health outcomes for kids. Children’s hospitals that participate in an annually funded federal grant program train half of the nation’s pediatricians.
- Drive discovery and innovate treatments. Through pediatric research, children’s hospitals continually innovate treatments and share new knowledge and discoveries. Topics of research are far ranging, from genomic sequencing and precision medicine to preventing and treating head traumas.
- Collaborate to improve children’s health. Institutions work together to improve the delivery of safe and effective health care for kids. Through national projects and groups like the Child Health Patient Safety Organization, children’s hospitals are making strides in reducing preventable harm, sepsis and unnecessary hospital stays.
What is their role in the community?
Working in and with their communities, children’s hospitals lead health improvement initiatives for children that yield long-term benefits, including a healthier adult population and workforce, and countless costs avoided by early intervention in—or prevention of—chronic health problems. Children’s hospitals are essential in helping families:
- Create healthy homes that eliminate asthma triggers.
- Receive behavioral health interventions and build resilience.
- Support physical activity, reduce food insecurity and improve nutrition to mitigate obesity.
- Safely secure every child for every car ride.