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Doctor Explains Why Kids Need a Children’s Hospital


Children’s bodies aren't just smaller than adults’ bodies; they're physically different and require different knowledge and equipment – especially during a medical emergency. In these short video segments, Tim Givens, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado and medical director of the emergency department (ED) at Children's Hospital Colorado, shares his experience caring for kids in the ED.

How are children medically different from adults?

“There are a lot of subtleties you have to consider when you treat a child versus an adult,” Dr. Givens said. “Take an injured child as an example. Their head is relatively large compared to their body, so they tend to have more head injuries; also, their organs are less protected because they’re still developing, meaning kids have higher incidence of organ injury of the bladder, liver and spleen. An adult hospital not attuned to those subtleties might miss something seriously wrong.”

During an emergency, how does a pediatric experience differ from an adult hospital?

According to Dr. Givens, pinpointing childhood illnesses quickly, ordering only the tests needed, and having results read by trained pediatric experts can make a huge difference in the outcome of a child's treatment. Learn why a pediatric emergency department is the best choice for kids.

When kids are hurt or sick, how do you distinguish fear from pain?

Because kids don’t have fully-developed language and cognitive skills, they often can't express what's wrong and may confuse fear with pain. Dr. Givens says that a pediatric professional with training and experience can recognize the difference between fear and pain and help to alleviate stress. Read how our specialists help keep kids calm.

Where should we go if my child has an emergency?

In addition to our hospital located on Anschutz Medical Campus, Children's Hospital Colorado has multiple locations for emergency care, urgent after-hours care, pediatric specialists, therapy care and more. According to Dr. Givens, “The same world-class physicians who practice at our Aurora location also work in EDs and specialty clinics at locations throughout Colorado.”

See a map of our locations.

Read more about why kids need Children's Hospital Colorado.