IN A STRICTLY modern sense, children's hospitals are usually considered to be institutions that limit themselves to the care of sick children. This concept, however, is not wholly true. A number of the larger children's hospitals have included within the sphere of their activities not only treatment but preventive care as well and have always emphasized research and teaching. Some, like the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, have evolved into great children's medical centers covering nearly every phase of child welfare and study.
The history of children's hospitals is, of course, closely linked with the history of hospitals in general. Embryonic types of hospitals are known to have existed in the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Asia, and other areas. Ceylon had a hospital in the fifth and another in the second century B. C.; eighteen physicians worked in the latter hospital. In India, King Asoka established hospitals in the third