Pediatrics is a special medical field related to the care of infants, children, and adolescents. Many practices accept patients up to 18 years of age, and some even include college age young adults. If you have or plan to have children, you will want to make sure you have a good pediatrician for regular checkups and general care. You may want to also know that there are specialists in your area that serve infants and children in specific care fields.
Consider the many specialties of pediatrics:
Unfortunately, you probably won’t know your child has an allergy until he or she has a reaction. It’s important to get expert advice from an allergy doctor specializing in pediatrics so you can begin the proper course of treatment or know what precautions to take as soon as possible. The allergic reaction can be a response to food coloring, nuts, dairy products, a type of detergent, or a severe reaction to bee stings. In any case, a physician can talk with you and your child about triggers and, depending on the age of your child, how she can help manage her own symptoms.
If your child is born with a heart problem or there is a strong family history of issues, you might see a cardiologist who works with younger patients. And as your child gets older, while your regular physician can do routine sports-related physicals, a cardiologist may provide more thorough testing to assure you and your child that playing a sport is safe.
Developmental and Behavioral
Some physicians specialize in the developmental and behavioral needs of young children. Such doctors can usually recommend a network of specialists for therapy or whatever needs the child may have in the course of treatment.
This field helps children with gland diseases or disorders. This may include growth problems, diabetes, or issues related to having too much or too little hormones from the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal glands, or pancreas.
Diagnosing stomach issues can be time consuming and uncomfortable. A doctor specializing in pediatrics will work hard to make your child feel as comfortable as possible during the many tests that might be needed to diagnose and treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, intestinal tract, and pancreas. They can set you up with a network to help with nutritional needs as a result of any medical conditions.
Hematology and Oncology
Treating blood disorders and cancers usually involves a lot of hospital and doctor visits, medications, and needles. Practices who work with children and their families have experience with how to relate to and talk with kids about what they are feeling.
This specialty works with infants and children with lung problems. Conditions may be a chronic cough, wheezing, recurrent pneumonia, apnea, sleep disorders, and cystic fibrosis.
Physicians who specialize in pediatrics are helping children and their families manage conditions that are usually more serious and longer lasting than the common cold or a sick stomach. They must have a team that is dedicated to doing all they can for the patient, while making the family feel as comfortable as possible.