What is Pediatrics?
Pediatrics is the medical specialty for the care of people under the age of 19. Pediatricians receive specialist training to diagnose and treat the specific conditions that can affect children and adolescents but often dissipate at adulthood. Pediatricians also provide care for children as they grow up and pass through many stages of rapid physical development. Pediatric doctors are trained to provide compassionate and sensitive care to children who may not understand what is happening at the doctor’s office or are not able to articulate what they are feeling.
Why is Having a Pediatrician Important?
Pediatricians provide expert care specifically to younger patients. They specialize in diagnosis and treatment of multiple conditions among children and adolescents including:
- Developmental Disorders
- Genetic and Congenital Conditions
- Organ Diseases and Dysfunctions
While treatment of disease and pathology is always important, pediatricians help parents manage the quality of life of their child. Through prevention of disease through immunizations, early detection and treatment of medical conditions, and management of any developmental issues, pediatricians are able to help patients manage a variety of problems including:
- Developmental delays and disorders
- Behavioral problems
- Functional disabilities
- Social stressors
- Mental disorders, including depression and anxiety
Pediatricians reduce infant mortality rates and the spread of infectious disease, educate parents about healthy lifestyles and diet, and create a better health outlook for the whole family. Often, diseases and disorders left untreated in childhood can cause a variety of problems later in adulthood. Pediatricians are the first line of defense to reduce the chance of health complications later in life.
Is Pediatrics Different From Adult Medicine?
Children have smaller bodies that are still developing, often through rapid spurts, and can encounter a variety of problems that adults do not experience. Additionally, adults may not realize the psychological effect that chronic illness can cause for a child. Genetic defects and chronic health conditions can cause problems later in life if left untreated during childhood and adolescence.