Kids are different at every stage. Toddlers don’t understand things and communicate them the same way teenagers do, and kindergartners have different needs than babies. They can’t always explain what’s wrong, what hurts or how long something’s been happening.

That’s why we’re experts at figuring it out.

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, our specialists know how to relate to kids at all ages and stages. That means the first step of any treatment is to help kids relax, feel safe and open up. When they do, it not only helps us care for them more effectively – it means a better experience for the whole family.  Here’s just a few ways we do it.

 

Easing kids’ fear

Often, a child can’t express what’s wrong, especially when they’re very young. They can’t always describe their symptoms, and they might not understand why they need treatment. Sometimes they confuse fear with pain.

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

 

Pain management expertise

It’s tough to watch your child experience pain, whether it’s from injury, illness or surgery. That’s why our doctors and staff specialize not only in pain management, but also empathy.

Kids 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.

Kids’ development also affects the way they feel pain. Our anesthesiology and pain management specialists work together to deliver the right treatment with compassion, making kids as comfortable as possible during the process.

And 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’ whole job is to help kids and families deal with any stress and fear that may come up during a hospital visit. That means helping them understand what to expect by talking through procedures in language they can understand, using tools like pretend medical equipment.

 

Tailoring care to kids’ needs

Kids need a hospital just for kids. Here, 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.

Our teams have the depth and breadth of expertise to diagnose and treat almost any condition. With pediatric experts from every specialty in medicine, we work together to deliver the most comprehensive care.

But at the end of the day, the center of every care team, the people calling the shots, are kids and their families. We work with kids to get to the root of the problem, and we give them choices, explain what’s going on and invite them to participate however they can. We share information with families as soon as we have it and we listen to thoughts and concerns.

That way, when it’s time to jump into action, when it’s time to make decisions or undergo procedures, everyone feels safe, relaxed and ready for the best possible care.