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Pediatric Medicine

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Pediatrics (also spelt pediatrics) is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. The upper age limit ranges from age 14 to 21, depending on the country. A medical practitioner who specializes in this area is thus known as a pediatrician (also spelt pediatrician). (Wikipedia2007 [online])




Pediatric medicine differs from adult medicine in many respects. The obvious body size differences are paralleled by maturational changes. The smaller body of an infant or neonate is substantially different physiologically from that of an adult. Congenital defects, genetic variance, and a host of other issues are of greater concern to pediatric medicine than they often are to adult physicians.

Another major difference between pediatric medicine and adult medicine is that children are minors and, in most jurisdictions, cannot make decisions for themselves. The issues of guardianship, privacy, legal responsibility and informed consent must always be considered in every pediatric procedure. In a sense, pediatric medicine often has to treat the parents and sometimes, the family, rather than just the child. Adolescents are in their own legal class, having rights to their own health care decisions in certain circumstances only, though this is in legal flux and varies by region.

(research2003.uct2007 [online])




Some diseases, such as sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis are more often treated by pediatric medicine because only recently did the majority of these patients survive into adulthood. Issues revolving around infectious diseases and immunizations are also dealt with primarily by pediatric medicine. Put simply, treating a child is not like treating a miniature adult.

Childhood is the period of greatest growth, development and maturation of the various organ systems in the body. Years of training and experience (above and beyond basic medical training) goes into recognizing the difference between normal variants and what is actually pathological (pediatrics.about.com2007 [online]).





Most of the infants die due to diseases that are well beyond the scope of the pediatricians, for these problems neonatologists of pediatric medicine  have to step in. they are the people dealing with the new born babies and their problems. Neonatologist unlike pediatric medicines takes care of preterm and new born babies.


Due to the cost involved in these treatments the growth of this field of pediatric medicine is growing at a very small pace. But with the new technological developments in pediatric medicine

 it is getting more impetus now.




The role of parents in treating their child is indispensable. Pediatric medicines alone can not do the wonders. Proper care has to be taken by the parents to see that their child recovers and leads a healthy life. There are few diseases for which the pediatric medicines offer the treatment but it is the duty of the parents to first recognize the first symptoms of the disease and report the matter to the pediatrician. The parental education for pediatric medicine is the must in the above respect as they should be well aware of the common child related diseases and their symptoms. With the joined coordination from the parents pediatric medicines can cure the child.



References[online source].Last accessed 11 November 4, 2007 [online source]. Last accessed 11 November 4, 2007[online source]. Last accessed 11 November 4, 2007

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