Last updated date: 30-Jan-2023
Originally Written in English
Good health, especially during childhood, translates to a healthy life in the future. It also creates a good environment for the children to grow and learn essential life morals. For this reason, it’s important to treat and manage any condition that affects your child. This is to ensure that he or she lives a good healthy and productive life.
Pediatrics is thus specially designed to help every child right from birth till the age of 18. It's concerned with diagnosing, treating, and managing a wide range of childhood conditions. It also aims to give every child a good opportunity to grow and live a quality life.
Objectives of Pediatrics
Pediatrics is a medical branch that focuses on providing medical care and treatment to infants, young children, and adolescents. On the other hand, a pediatrician is the child’s medical provider who specializes in this field.
Pediatricians are responsible for caring for acutely and chronically sick children and providing preventive measures for healthy minors. They also help manage and monitor the children's mental, emotional, and physical well-being during each development stage. This is regardless of whether they are healthy or sick.
Generally, pediatrics aims at minimizing infant and child death rate through various ways, including;
- Promoting healthy lifestyles to ensure that they live a life free of disease and frequent infections.
- Controlling the spread of certain infectious diseases
- Closely working with the children and adolescents to help them ease health problems associated with certain chronic diseases
In addition, pediatrics covers a wide range of health conditions affecting children. It includes infections, injuries, genetic disorders, congenital disabilities, organ disease and malfunctions, and cancers.
Besides, it oversees the long-term impacts that certain conditions have on the children’s quality of life, survival, and functionality. Due to this, pediatricians are also concerned with early diagnosis, management, and prevention of disorders such as;
- Behavioral issues
- Social stress and challenges
- Development disorders and delays
- Functional disabilities
- Mental problems such as anxiety and depression
Pediatric is typically concerned with all problems and health concerns that affect every child. As such, pediatrics comprises several subspecialties where each is concerned with the children's health and well-being.
The main types of pediatrics subspecialties include the following;
- Pediatric Cardiology
Pediatric cardiology is concerned with infants and children's congenital heart problems and other heart-related conditions that develop during childhood. Pediatric cardiologists thus specialize in diagnosing and treating various heart conditions. These conditions include heart valve disorders, heart murmurs, and cardiac rhythm disturbances.
- Adolescent medicine
Adolescent medicine is concerned with the diagnosis and treating any medical condition that affects adolescents. The major role of adolescent pediatricians involves working the young adults experiencing health issues that interfere with their everyday lives. These health problems can range from mental health disorders, growth issues, and alcohol or drug abuse to feeding disorders.
- Critical care
Critical care pediatrics involves diagnosing and treating children who are critically ill. Due to this, critical care pediatricians are highly trained to address chronic conditions. Moreover, they specialize in different treatment procedures and top levels of monitoring the child's health state. Some of the critical conditions they address include respiratory failure, chronic physical injuries, and septic infections.
- Child abuse
Child abuse pediatricians specialize in helping minors who have been neglected or victims of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. They can also assist with diagnosing and treating various health conditions associated with child abuse and negligence, for instance, psychological problems and malnutrition.
- Pediatrics Endocrinology
Pediatric endocrinology deals with conditions of the endocrine glands that affect children. The endocrinology pediatricians also specialize in diagnosing and managing hormonal and metabolic disorders among children. This can include health concerns such as physical growth and sexual development, diabetes, childhood obesity, abnormal function of the pituitary glands, and hormonal growth issues.
- Pediatric hematology-oncology
Pediatric hematology and oncology involve diagnosing, treating, managing blood diseases (hematology) and cancers (oncology) in children. Some of these conditions include brain tumors, leukemia, neutropenia, hemophilia, and blood cell disorders.
- Pediatric gastroenterology
Pediatric gastroenterology focuses on diagnosing, treating, and caring for children with digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract disorders. These conditions include irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcers, pancreatitis, colitis, celiac disease, constipation, abdominal pain, and liver diseases.
- Pediatric pulmonology
This field specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing conditions affecting children’s respiratory system. These conditions include pneumonia, asthma, cystic fibrosis, respiratory infections, chronic cough, and lung conditions.
- Pediatric neonatology
Pediatric neonatology involves caring for premature and seriously sick newborn babies. It can include diagnosing certain health conditions while the child is still in the mother’s womb. Neonatal pediatricians can sometimes help with infants’ delivery, especially those who are at a higher risk. They also give them comprehensive medical care immediately after birth.
- Pediatric rheumatology
This is a pediatric subspecialty that is concerned with children suffering from disorders of the joints and bones. It also diagnoses, treats, and manages children with lupus, vasculitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Preventing Childhood Health Conditions
Infants, young children, and adolescents are prone to various health conditions and infections that arise from time to time. Stopping and avoiding these conditions is nearly impossible. However, as a parent, you should put into action the following preventive measure to ensure that your child’s health is not compromised;
- Maintaining proper hygiene
Observing and maintaining proper hygiene is an important way of preventing various childhood conditions and infections. Basically, a child’s body and immune system are not strong enough like that of adults. Therefore, poor hygiene increases the chances of your child contracting diseases.
However, with proper hygiene, you can prevent all these problems. You should also encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and always ensure that the surfaces in your house are clean.
- Immunizations and vaccines
Newborns and young children usually have a weak immune system. Hence, they are at a high risk of developing various diseases or infections. Luckily, immunizations and vaccinations can help prevent these health problems. It’s also for the same reason why pediatricians often recommend childhood immunizations when the child is still young.
- Keeping your child away from the sick people
If you have a newborn baby, it’s essential to stay away from ill people or those with an infection. If possible, you should cancel your plans with sick people to avoid exposing your newborn child to such illnesses. The child's immune system of a child is still developing; hence, any infection or disease exposure could severely affect them.
- Ensure that your child gets enough sleep
Enough sleep is essential for the overall health and wellness of the children. Sometimes, health issues such as colic, teething, and other problems can interfere with the child’s sleep. Therefore, you should try to find effective ways of combating these health issues to give your child a proper sleep schedule. This will also boost their health and improve the quality of life.
Breast milk is essential for your child since they contain natural and germ-fighting antibodies. These antibodies boost the baby’s immune system. Hence, it reduces the chances of infections such as flu, diarrhea, tummy bugs, and ear or chest infections. Therefore, if you are in a good position to breastfeed your child, then ensure that you do so more often.
When to See a Pediatrician
Sometimes, it’s difficult for the parents to differentiate minor health issues from chronic illnesses. It’s also difficult to determine the conditions to treat through home remedies and which require pediatrician expertise.
To ensure your child’s health and safety, you should visit a pediatrician if your child experience signs and symptoms such as;
Fever is usually associated with various infectious diseases. Besides, handling it depends on the child’s age. However, if your child is below two months and has a fever of 100.4 degrees or more, this is considered an emergency case requiring immediate medical attention.
Vomiting and diarrhea:
Vomiting and diarrhea can be a sign of bacterial or viral infections. Although they can be minor issues, you should visit a pediatrician if the situation persists or becomes too intense.
If your child is experiencing breathing problems that do not improve with home remedies, you should visit a pediatrician. Breathing difficulties can sometimes be a sign of chronic respiratory infections.
Visit a pediatrician if your child has a sore throat associated with tenderness in the neck and fever. This could be a sign of strep throat or other related conditions.
Other signs and symptoms that require medical attention include;
- Unexplainable rashes
- Ear pain associated with a respiratory infection
- Sharp and recurring abdominal pain
- Walking difficulties
- Constant urge to urinate
- Blood in the urine or stool
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating
The Pediatrics field mainly focuses on the health and medical care of infants, children, and young adults. It aims at giving them the best diagnostic and treatment services to ensure that they live and thrive. In the long run, this also reduces the infant and child death rate across the world.
With CloudHospital, there is no doubt that your child will receive the best medical care throughout the childhood stage. Furthermore, your child will have an opportunity to be treated by professional pediatricians who are skilled and trained to address various childhood conditions.