Children’s health, or pediatrics, focuses on the well-being of children from conception through adolescence. It is vitally concerned with all aspects of children’s growth and development and with the unique opportunity that each child has to achieve their full potential as a healthy adult.
Children’s health was once a subset of adult medicine. In the 19th and early 20th century, people recognized pediatrics as a medical specialty because of the gradual awareness that the health problems of children are different from those of adults. It was also recognized that a child’s response to illness, medications, and the environment depends upon the age of the child.
Your child’s health includes physical, mental and social well-being. Most parents know the basics of keeping children healthy, like offering them healthy foods making sure they get enough sleep and exercise and insuring their safety.
It is also important for children to get regular checkups with their health care provider. These visits are a chance to check your child’s development. They are also a good time to catch or prevent problems.
Other than checkups, school-age children should be seen for
- Significant weight gain or loss
- Sleep problems or change in behavior
- Fever higher than 102
- Rashes or skin infections
- Frequent sore throats
- Breathing problems