During many years of hospital service for infants and little children I feel that one feature of such care has not been sufficiently emphasized. The babies are often kept too long in the hospital and do not have sufficient oversight after discharge to ensure permanent benefit. The place that is good for treating disease is not a good spot for managing convalescents; this is preeminently true in the case of infants and little children. Much of the benefit of hospital treatment is lost—sometimes fatally lost—owing to delay in discharge after the acute symptoms have ceased.
The neglected time is the interim between hospital care and the return of the child to a home that too often lacks both the facilities and the knowledge for proper after-care.
In my experience, the few convalescent institutions caring for babies have not been very successful in handling this problem. The same dangers from cross