Children's Hospital Colorado

The Children’s Hospital Colorado Difference

Kids are incredibly different from adults, from their growing bodies to their developing minds. That’s why they need incredibly different care — the kind you’ll find at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

As a nationally ranked pediatric hospital, we care for families throughout Colorado and surrounding states. Our comprehensive team of highly trained, experienced specialists sees and treats more children than any other hospital in the region. We give kids the expert care they need to feel better.

How kids are different from grown-ups

Kids aren’t just mini adults. They’re different in thousands of ways that affect their care.

Kids' bodies and minds are different

From head to toe, children are different. Their bodies and the ways they think, feel and express themselves are different too — and that changes everything about how we diagnose and treat them. 

  • Kids have smaller hearts and lower blood volumes. Their bodies work harder to deliver oxygen to their muscles. And heart problems in children typically result from differences in development before birth — compared with adults, whose hearts “wear out” over time.
  • Kids have smaller airways. Inflamed lungs might cause adults to cough and feel discomfort, but they can render kids unable to breathe. Kids also take in more air relative to their size — along with more substances that can cause infections and diseases.
  • Kids are more vulnerable to trauma. When your body is smaller, traumatic events like car accidents hit you harder: They’re exerting the same amount of force on a smaller area. Kids also have more pliable bones and less protection in their abdominal walls, so they’re more prone to internal organ injury.
  • Kids have higher risk for brain injury. Children’s brains aren’t fully developed, and they have proportionally larger heads and weaker supporting neck muscles.
  • Kids have a greater chance of infection and complication. Younger immune systems are less “experienced” at identifying and fighting off infection. For instance, children are more likely than healthy adults to develop tuberculosis after they’ve been exposed to the bacteria. Kids usually heal faster than adults, but they get sick faster, too — meaning complications can worsen very quickly, sometimes to a life-threatening degree.
  • Kids get different types of illnesses and have different reactions to disease. Many diseases affect children and adults differently, and some diseases occur only in childhood. For example, some bacterial and viral infections (like rubella, mumps and pertussis) affect mostly children.
  • Kids' bones are still growing. Their bones have growth plates, and only fully harden after puberty. When we treat a child’s broken bone, we plan for how the bone will grow, so it heals properly over time.
  • Kids have different brain structures. They have different neurotransmitters (chemical substances that help their nerves communicate), and their nerves aren’t fully lined yet. Their brains also contain more water, which makes them softer and causes them to respond differently to surgery and traumatic injury.
  • Kids' brain activity is different. Structural differences mean that the electrical activity in children’s brains looks different in tests like EEGs (electroencephalograms), which track and record brain wave patterns. Pediatric specialists know how to interpret those tests and plan for how your child’s brain will develop over time.
  • Kids communicate differently. They can’t always tell you what’s wrong, especially when they’re very young. Sometimes they can’t describe their symptoms accurately, or they confuse pain with fear, and they might not understand why they need an exam. They need care from professionals who can connect with them on their level.
Kids of all sizes need incredibly different care.

Kids are different at every developmental stage. Toddlers don't understand things and communicate them the same way teenagers do, and kindergartners have different needs than babies. Our specialists are trained to relate to kids at all ages and stages.

How our care is different

All these differences affect the ways that kids respond to tests, medications and treatment. Not every hospital is equipped to understand the differences and deliver appropriate care. At Children’s Colorado that’s our entire purpose.

Pediatric care tailored to kids’ unique needs

Kids need a hospital just for kids — and Children’s Colorado is that kind of place. We provide care designed for kids, so every child gets the treatment, attention and compassion they need to feel better.

  • Pediatric expertise. Our pediatric experts diagnose childhood illnesses quickly by ordering the tests your child needs and interpreting the results accurately. This expertise can make a huge difference in the outcome of a child's treatment.
  • Collaborative care. Our team has the depth and breadth of expertise to diagnose and treat virtually any condition. With pediatric experts from every specialty in medicine, we work together to deliver the most comprehensive care.
  • A focus on kids and families. Here, you and your child are at the center of the care team. We share timely information and listen to your thoughts and concerns, so you can make informed decisions about your child's health and treatment.
  • A positive, engaging approach. Our experts and child life specialists make kids feel safe and relaxed, so we can get to the root of the problem. That's why we give kids choices and explain procedures using words they understand.

Read more about our pediatric care designed exclusively for kids.

Pediatric specialists deliver comprehensive care

As a top-ranked pediatric hospital, Children’s Colorado has focused completely on kids since our founding more than a century ago. Our specialists treat children at all ages and stages of growth, treating both the common and the rare.

Our experts have the experience to diagnose many pediatric conditions on the spot, even rare ones adult specialists might not ever see. We bring together doctors, therapists and nurses from multiple specialties to create the most effective plan for your child’s health. And our team supports your family by focusing on your child’s total well-being.

Learn more about how our pediatric specialists surround your child with the care they need.

We treat kids with their minds in mind.

Kids can't always explain what's wrong, what hurts or how long something's been happening. Which is why we're experts in figuring it out. And why the first step of our treatment is to help kids relax, feel safe and open up, so we can treat them more effectively.

Kids need a hospital just for kids

Putting children at ease starts with creating a place just for them. We designed our space with kids in mind, from play areas where families can relax to a lounge just for teens. Our environment is bright, cheery and spacious, while still feeling comfortable and inviting.

Here, kids can be kids – whether they’re exploring our TV studio or visiting with furry friends through our Prescription Pet Program. We want you and your family to feel at home here, no matter how long you’re with us.