In 2002, there were 3.7 million hospital discharges among children
ages 1 to 21, or 4.4 discharges per 100 children. This represents
a slight increase from 2001. Hospital discharge rates generally
decrease until about age 8 and increase during later adolescence.
Diseases of the respiratory system were the major cause of hospitalization
for children 1-9 years of age and accounted for 33 percent of their
While injuries are the leading cause of death among children older
than 1 year, this category accounted for only 8 percent of the hospital
discharges of children aged 10-14 in 2002. Pregnancy and childbirth
accounted for 64 percent of discharges among young women ages 15-21.
Mental disorders were the second leading cause of hospitalization