A pediatrician is the specialist medical practitioners who treats ailments in babies, infants, adolescents and young adults.
Kids go through quick and big physical, behavioral and emotional changes while growing up. Hence, they have unique medical needs which may be tough to understand for a doctor who majorly deals with adult patients.
Moreover, there are multiple subspecialties to Pediatrics specialty.
When does Pediatrics care begin?
It can begin even before the baby is conceived and continue up until he/she turns 21. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests not to set an upper age limit for it, as it majorly depends on the physical and mental needs of a particular person.
A majority of pediatricians work as primary care physicians, who conduct regular health checkups for kids. They also diagnose and treat a wide range of general health issues, administer vaccinations, and also give advice to parents to take care of their children.
Other pediatricians either specialize in handling a particular medical condition or treat children of a specific age group. Here are some examples of pediatric subspecialties –
- Adolescent medicine specialists – They treat children from the age of 11 to 21 years.
- Critical care pediatricians – These medical practitioners usually work at hospital’s intensive care units.
- Developmental behavioral pediatricians – This specialty evaluates the developmental, learning and behavioural problems in kids.
- Pediatric neurologists – This kind of healthcare practitioners take care of neurological disorders in children.
- Child abuse pediatricians – Such medics are specially trained in evaluating if the child has experienced abuse or neglect.
- Pediatric oncologists – These doctors specialize in treating various types of cancers in children.
- Pediatric cardiologists – Their job is to diagnose and treat heart conditions in children. They closely work with Pediatric health surgeons to finalize the best treatment strategy for the kids.
- Pediatric rheumatologists – They treat children and adolescents with musculoskeletal disorders.
- Pediatric nephrologists – These doctors are experts of treating ailments related to kidneys and urinary tract.
- Neonatal-perinatal pediatricians – Such doctors treat infants before, during and after birth. They specialize in treating premature and critically ill newborns.
- Pediatric gastroenterologists – These medics treat problems related to the digestive system of the kid.
- Pediatric endocrinologists – This specialty takes care of the endocrine system of the kid and the hormones it produces. It also treats a variety of health issues including diabetes.
- Pediatric pulmonologists – This specialty covers children suffering from breathing issues or lung ailments.
What does a Pediatrician do?
Just like any other doctor, Pediatricians also perform a wide range of health-related activities, but specifically for children. Here are some of the procedures they execute –
- Physical exams
- Injury treatment
- Treating fractures and dislocations
- Evaluating a child’s physical, emotional and social development
- Medicine prescription
- Giving health advice
- Tracing & treating serious medical conditions
- Referring the ailing kid to a different pediatric specialty, if needed
Pediatric specialists undertake additional courses and training programs to diagnose and treat specific medical conditions in children.
When should you see a Pediatrician?
Parents should keep taking their child to a pediatrician for periodic health check-ups. Such visits are a great way to clear your doubts about the growth of your child. Pediatricians may also administer vaccinations to the child during these visits, if necessary.
Moreover, it is apparent that early detection of any disease puts the patient and the doctor in a better position to cure it completely.
During your periodic visits to the pediatrician, he/she may ask questions about your child’s eating, sleeping and social habits to evaluate his physical, mental and emotional development.
Parents should also immediately admit their child to an emergency room of a hospital if the child has a fever of 104°F (40°C) or over, or if the fever is accompanied by seizures, persistent crying or breathing trouble. It also calls for an emergency medical intervention If the baby younger than 2 years has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C).
Apart from the above discussed points, if you feel like your child is facing any kind of health trouble, you should never delay seeing a Pediatrician.
Who treats teenagers?
A pediatrician can treat a patient up until the age of 21, however, it is not mandatory. In fact, some insurance companies only offer pediatric care till the age of 18.
A pediatrician plays a very crucial role in the development of a newborn kid. Hence, keeping in regular touch with a pediatrician is really essential to ensure the safety and well being of your child.