Pediatrics is a particular branch of medicine which deals with children and their overall health. Doctors who specialize in pediatrics are called pediatricians. But what exactly are the treatments offered in pediatrics, and what diseases do they treat?
What Pediatricians Do
Pediatricians deal with the medical care and health of children from their infancy to their adolescence. Pediatricians treat children when they are sick and provide preventive health services for healthy children. A pediatrician can take care of a child as soon as they are born.
These doctors care for children’s physical, mental, and emotional health throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence. They seek to reduce the rate of death among infants and children, control the spread of contagious diseases, and encourage a sickness-free life among children. Furthermore, pediatricians help children and adolescents reduce the pains associated with chronic illnesses.
Pediatrics is in charge of the following among children:
- Physical examinations
- Diagnosing a physical, mental, and emotional development
- Giving medical advice
- Prescribing medications for children
What Pediatricians Treat
Some of the most common conditions pediatricians diagnose and treat include the following:
- Injuries (fractures, dislocations, and more)
- Genetic and congenital (from birth) diseases
- Childhood chronic diseases (such as diabetes, obesity, or cerebral palsy)
Aside from treating pre-existing conditions, pediatricians also help prevent or, at the very least, manage mental or emotional problems such as:
- Social stress
- Behavioral problems
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Delays in development
Treatments Offered in Pediatrics
Pediatrics offer various treatments for various medical problems among infants, children, and adolescents.
Pediatric surgeons diagnose and treat children’s surgical needs. These surgeons treat various medical problems such as serious injuries, tumors, transplantations, or surgical repair of congenital disabilities.
Pediatric surgery is the solution for any problems among children that need surgical procedures.
Pediatric Critical Care
Pediatric intensivists take care of the medical problems of children in unstable and critical conditions. Pediatric critical care specialists can help alleviate the effects of a severe asthma attack, acute cases of pneumonia, extreme injuries, organ failure, cancer crises, diabetic ketoacidosis, blood disorders, and more.
This pediatric treatment organizes and monitors the care of children in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
This pediatric treatment deals with allergies and strengthening children’s immune systems. Additionally, pediatric allergy and immunology experts treat immune system malfunctions and deficiencies. They help treat asthma, hay fever, eczema, extreme reactions to foods, insects, other allergens, and other immunity problems such as acquired immune deficiency, autoimmune disorder, over-active immune system, and primary immune deficiency.
Experts in pediatric allergy and immunology provide treatments, including immunotherapy (allergy shots), medications, and instructions on avoiding allergens and other things that cause symptoms.
Child and adolescent psychiatrists specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders in children’s thinking, feeling, and behavior. Pediatric psychiatrists perform diagnostic exams that help identify the problem. The exams take into account the child’s physical, genetic, emotional, cognitive health and the developmental, social, cognitive, educational, and family components.
The psychiatrist then creates a treatment plan designed to help the patient. The treatment plan may include psychotherapy, medication, or consultations with other experts. Pediatric psychiatrists are expected to represent the child’s best interests.
Orthopedics deals with musculoskeletal (bone) conditions such as limb or spine deformities, gait abnormalities such as limping, broken bones, or bone infections. A pediatric orthopedic surgeon treats these problems among children and adolescents.
The common musculoskeletal problems among children are club foot, scoliosis, bone tumors, sepsis, bone trauma, and more.
Pediatric cardiologists are doctors who treat heart problems among children. These medical experts do not perform pediatric heart surgery. They only help identify and manage heart conditions among children and adolescents, whether the problems are congenital (present from birth) or acquired.
Pediatric cardiologists look for problems in children’s heart’s formation or beating. They use tools such as an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, or imaging tests. If they diagnose problems, pediatric cardiologists may prescribe medications.
Other Pediatric Treatments and Specialists
The list of pediatric treatments goes on and on. And a lot of these treatments and specialists may overlap in what pediatric conditions they can treat. Here is a list of other forms of pediatric treatments:
- Pediatric adolescent medicine
- Child abuse pediatrics
- Pediatric Oncology
- Pediatric pulmonology
- Pediatric neurology
- Pediatric nephrology
- Neonatal-perinatal medicine
- Pediatric gastroenterology
- Pediatric endocrinology
This list of treatments and branches of pediatrics is not exhaustive. This branch of medicine is broad; it covers any medical problem a child may experience. Whatever medical condition a child suffers from, be it physical, mental, or emotional, there is a treatment in pediatrics.
What Ages Do Pediatricians Treat?
Pediatricians treat children from their infancy to their adolescence. A pediatrician can treat babies as soon as they are born. The lines become a little unclear as to the age limit of a pediatrician’s care.
The CDC determined that adolescence is from 11 to 21 years old. However, there are cases where a child needs pediatric care beyond the age of 21. Children with special needs are better off being treated by their pediatrician since they are familiar with the child’s medical history.
In these cases, both the parents or guardians of the patient and the pediatrician have to agree that pediatric care is in the patient’s best interest.
Aside from children with special needs, there are concerns that young adults don’t yet have a fully developed brain until they are in their third decade of life. The concern is that they are not capable of making medical decisions for themselves.
On the other side of the coin, some insurance companies limit pediatric insurance to children 18 years old and below.
Don’t Ignore Pediatrics
In the modern world, pediatrics is a vital part of children’s health. They help take care of children, sick or healthy. And they help guide children towards a life of health. If you’d like to know more about what pediatrics can do for you and your family, visit Chariss Family Medical Clinic. We specialize in many branches of medicine, including pediatric routine and preventive care.