What are some common illnesses that could require my child to be hospitalized?
Your child should be hospitalized if he or she needs care that cannot be provided at home, such as IV fluids, IV medication or certain respiratory treatments. Viral gastroenteritis (sometimes referred to as stomach flu) can lead to dehydration when the child refuses to or is unable to eat or drink and also loses fluid from vomiting or diarrhea. For mild dehydration, drinking small amounts of fluid frequently will usually relieve symptoms of dehydration as your child recovers from the illness. For moderate to severe dehydration, your pediatrician may choose to admit your child to the hospital to provide IV fluids and test for and treat the cause of the dehydration.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common infection that causes runny nose, cough, fever and sometimes wheezing. This infection can also lead to pneumonia. However, most children recover in a week or two. Some children, particularly infants, may require hospitalization to receive supplemental oxygen and respiratory treatments to remove mucus from the airways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75,000 to 125,000 children under the age of one are hospitalized due to RSV each year.