Children's Hospital Colorado

Pediatric Care Designed Exclusively for Kids

Kids need different care, and Children’s Hospital Colorado has the expertise to provide it. We designed our care exclusively for kids — from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.

Pediatric diagnostic expertise

We use different tools and methods to identify medical problems in children. Our diagnostic approach puts safety first while gathering the information we need to help your child. We might use:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Children are particularly vulnerable to radiation exposure. MRI scans use powerful magnets rather than radiation, which can provide a safer alternative for diagnosis.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scans. These scans combine a series of images taken from different angles, so we can see bones, blood vessels and soft tissues. We use different techniques to target the affected area and use the least amount of radiation necessary to get a complete picture.
  • X-rays. If the radiologist determines that your child needs an X-ray, we follow strict protocols to deliver a safe dose of radiation based on your child’s weight.
  • Blood pressure. Our team members have special training and experience in getting accurate blood pressure results, even when kids are small or squirmy. We also tailor the target numbers for children based on their sex, age and height.
  • Blood tests. Smaller arms need smaller needles. We use child-sized needles and only collect the amount of blood we need to safely make an accurate diagnosis.
  • Heart rate. A child's heart beats faster than an adult's, so we assess your child’s results accordingly.
  • Breathing. Your child’s normal breathing rate depends on their age. We take these levels into account when performing respiratory tests.

Medication management expertise

Children’s bodies process medication differently than adults’ bodies. Here, we consider many factors in addition to their physical symptoms, including:

  • Size. We tailor dosages, frequency and type of medication for each patient's height and weight.
  • Metabolism. Chemical processes in your child’s body (known as metabolism) can affect how quickly they respond to medication. We adapt their dosing frequency to make sure they have the right amount of medicine at the right time.
  • Development. We take into account how medication may affect children’s development as they get older and adjust their dosages accordingly.
  • Potential interactions. We thoroughly evaluate any other medications or substances that might cause unwanted interactions.
  • Ease of taking medicine. We can often add flavors and smells to medications to make them easier for children to take.

Pain management expertise

It’s tough to watch your child experience pain, whether from surgery, illness or injury. Our anesthesiology and pain management specialists deliver compassionate care while making your child as comfortable as possible. We do this by:

  • Understanding kids’ unique needs. Children’s chemical differences and emotional development affect the way they feel pain. Our anesthesiologists (doctors specializing in pain relief) and pain management specialists work together to determine the right treatment.
  • Communicating with kids on their level. Children don't always have the vocabulary to explain where or how badly they hurt. Our pain management specialists use facial expressions and picture charts to determine how intense a child’s pain is. Since parents and other family members know their children best, we include them in the care process from start to finish.
  • Offering empathy. Pain isn’t always physical. Sometimes it’s emotional, especially when children and adolescents are coping with chronic conditions or major surgery. Our child life specialists are here to support your child and family during challenging times.

Easing kids’ fear

Often, a child can't express what's wrong or may confuse fear with pain. As experts in pediatric medicine, we can recognize the difference between the two and effectively manage both.

We take steps to help kids feel safe and comfortable. For example, technology like virtual reality can sometimes relax kids just as well as anesthesia. If your child does need general anesthesia, we have calming techniques to ease their fear of needles and make the process safer.

Learn how we can help

Read about the wide range of conditions and symptoms we treat, or browse through parent resources to find advice from our specialists.

“Kids change tremendously over time, so unique treatments for children are critical to proper outcomes.”
Stephen Daniels, MD, Pediatrician-in-Chief
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