What is pediatrics?
Pediatrics is a branch of medicine that deals with the physical, medical, emotional, and social care of children from infancy to young adulthood. This medical specialty involves diagnosing and treating acute, chronic, and congenital diseases that primarily affect children.
Furthermore, pediatric care also involves providing preventive health care to children from the day they are born onto their 18th year of life.
Contrary to popular belief, there is actually a lot of difference when it comes to the medical and health care of adults and children. Children are not just tiny versions of adults; they have their own unique set of growth and development needs that only a pediatrician can address.
What does a pediatrician do?
A pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in the medical care of children from birth to young adulthood. These professionals diagnose, manage, and treat children-specific diseases, including developmental and behavioral issues. Some examples of the various conditions that a pediatric doctor may address include:
- Infections, such as common colds and stomach flu
- Congenital diseases
- Organ dysfunctions
- Developmental delays (e.g., lagging in physical growth or motor functions)
- Social problems
- Mental conditions, such as general anxiety disorder and depression
A pediatrician aims to keep your child healthy by promoting healthy lifestyles and ensuring they lead a disease-free life. A pediatric physician should also ensure that a child belongs in a safe environment that nurtures a quality life.
Preventive healthcare is also a key responsibility of pediatricians. They conduct various procedures to help parents keep their children safe, especially from preventable yet life-threatening disorders. Some examples of preventive measures include newborn screenings, immunizations, strategic check-ups, and parental education.
What is the difference between pediatric and adult medicine?
Pediatric medicine is not a “miniaturized” version of adult medicine. Besides the size, a number of factors set child care apart from adults, specifically the diseases and how it affects their physical health.
Moreover, adult medicine focuses more on chronic conditions that affects adults while pediatric medicine prioritizes growth and developmental issues that arise as infants grow. Pediatricians significantly give attention to such conditions as several different kinds may affect children in various stages of their life.
Additionally, pediatric doctors have a more complex job since their patients are continuously maturing and evolving, thus producing new changes in their physical, mental, and behavioral aspects.
When should you seek a pediatrician?
Pediatric care should be provided right away at the birth of the newborn. From there, parents should bring their infant to a pediatrician monthly so their doctor can track their developmental progress.
Between the ages of 9 to 18 months of age, pediatric visits should be done every three months. From their 18th month of life to 3 years, visits would become every six months, then annually after three years old.
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.