Let's look at the laboratory confirmed influenza hospitalization rates for children during different flu seasons and compare it to this year using the CDC's own data. Now pay attention to the X axis which gives you an idea of the risk of children being hospitalized with the flu. We're talking around 3 our of 10,000 children for a lot of these seasons.
This 1st graph shows several years including 2003-4 season where around 8 out of 10,000 children ages 0-4 were hospitalized.
Compare that to the swine flu, pictures on the left and some recent seasons on the right. For children ages 0-4 so far we're still below 3 out of 10,000 hospitalized. This is despite the fact that swine flu infects more children than the regular flu.
So this far into the outbreak, we're still dealing with a virus that hospitalizes fewer children that most of the seasonal flu viruses for the past several years.