Pediatrics is a branch of medicine dedicated to the medical care of babies, children, and adolescents. As a rule, pediatricians are physicians who diagnose and treat diseases of people up to 18 years of age. One of the subspecialties of pediatrics is neonatology that consists of the medical care of newborns.
Pediatrics is quite a new field of medicine, because for a long time children were seen as tiny adults. However, besides different body size, the metabolic processes of children are also different from those of adults as the organism of a child is still developing and maturing. It means that the peculiarities of an immature organism always need to be taken into account, whether interpreting the symptoms, diagnosing a disease, or planning a treatment.
Just like internists who treat adults, pediatricians also specialize on certain groups of conditions and diseases. Below we describe some of the branches of pediatrics.
Gastroenterology: children’s gastroenterologists, also called pediatric gastroenterologists, specialize in problems related to the gastrointestinal tract, liver or nutrition. For example, they diagnose and treat children with conditions and diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), celiac disease or gluten intolerance, acute and chronic stomach-aches, long-lasting constipation, pancreas-related diseases (e.g. cystic fibrosis), and nutrition problems (including growth problems, but also overweight).
Nephrology: children’s nephrologists specialize in various diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract, but also bladder-related problems. In addition, this subspecialty includes kidney failure, hypertension resulting from kidney malfunction, hereditary kidney diseases, and infections or inflammations of the urinary tract.
Rheumatology: children’s rheumatologists specialize in complaints, symptoms and diseases related to the musculoskeletal system (joints, muscles, bones, tendons). This subspecialty includes idiopathic juvenile arthritis, different autoimmune diseases, and various inflammatory conditions, for example.
Neurology: children’s neurologists specialize in diagnosing and treating various diseases related to the nervous system. To give some examples, this subspecialty includes epilepsy and seizure-related conditions, headaches and migraine, genetic diseases of the nervous system, and hereditary developmental disorders (e.g. spina bifida). Besides that, children’s neurologists are competent in various neurological developmental disorders (such as speech delay and learning disabilities), autism spectrum disorders and behavioral disorders (e.g. attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
Allergology: children’s allergologists diagnose and treat children’s immune system disorders, including various allergies (e.g. pollen and dust allergy) and food intolerance (e.g. lactose intolerance). Furthermore, children’s allergologists’ competence covers various skin rashes (such as atopic dermatitis).
Endocrinology: children’s endocrinologist is a specialist who diagnoses and treats diseases related to the endocrine glands and hormones. Children’s endocrinologist is the expert to consult when a child has growth problems (very short stature), very early or late puberty, a thyroid disease or diabetes.
Cardiology: children’s cardiologists specialize in hereditary and acquired cardiovascular problems, including congenital heart malformations and hypertension.
Pediatrician’s consultation155 clinics
A pediatrician is a medical practitioner specializing in children and their diseases. A pediatrician’s job includes the prevention, diagnostics, treatment and monitoring of children's diseases. Pediatricians are competent to advise parents on issues like child nutrition, mental and physical development, and metabolism. If needed, the pediatrician prescribes additional tests and analyses or consults with other medical professionals like a pediatric neurologist, a pediatric surgeon or a pediatric cardiologist.