Medical professionals at children's hospitals understand child physiology and mentality better than most staffers at traditional hospitals. Doctors on staff can handle children's smaller size during surgeries and are certified in pediatrics. With specialized staff, these hospitals can more capably treat those rare diseases that affect mostly children.
Children's hospitals also understand families. The staff understands the parent's need to protect their child, recognizes the cost of having a sick child and sympathizes with a parent's complicated life. The staff also understands the conflicting demands of work, home and hospital. Every hospital is different, and some hospitals are also research facilities. Some even treat children at no cost, subsidized by fundraising and minimizing expenses. These hospitals often specialize in rare children's diseases, which may help in reaching a diagnosis and treating symptoms when other doctors can't. This means your child may receive cutting-edge care and be surrounded by other children who face similar illnesses during their appointments, hospital stays and outpatient treatments. This allows children to make friends and know they aren't alone.
You'll find at least one children's hospital in each of the continental 48 states, but parents have to travel, often long distances, to reach them. Sometimes parents have to cross state lines to find a children's hospital capable of giving their ill child the best chance of surviving. This often means greater transportation and hotel expenses. Depending on the disease, parents and children might have to travel back and forth several times for treatment. If older children are involved in a given family, complications in caring for those children might arise, along with complications in their emotional well-being, including their reactions to their parents' being away.