Pediatrics refers to branches of medicine that deal with the development, care, and illnesses of babies, children, and adolescents. There are two American Board Specialties that provide post doctorate degrees in pediatrics: Pediatrics (The American Board of Pediatrics) and Family Medicine (The American Board of Family Medicine).
Medical providers who specialize in child medicine look after the particular needs of children with the intent to reduce infant and child mortality, suppress the impact of infectious diseases, and generally establish the groundwork for their young patients’ healthy lifestyles and disease-free lives.
Care and treatment of children progresses along with childhood. Early care may center around genetic and congenital conditions, developmental milestones, illness prevention through parenting safety measures and immunizations, as well as general health screening.
As the child moves into more active stages of life, care turns toward treatment of injuries and illnesses, and continued preventive care, through immunization maintenance, injury prevention and, if needed, counseling on parental techniques. Yearly physicals take into consideration injury prevention as well as health conditions and how they’re managed for healthy participation in sports, camps, and other activities.
Child health care is a continuum of care from infancy to young adulthood, monitoring for delays or premature advancement of development, functional disabilities, mental disorders, or behavioral problems, as well as diagnosis and treatment of various childhood illnesses.
Medically speaking children are not “little adults.” The physiology, communication, and mental/emotional development of a child is, of course, substantially different from that of an adult. In addition to this, changes occur quickly in childhood, which means that all of these items are rapidly evolving.
The vulnerabilities of children are different as well. From the development of our immune system to awareness of danger and learning safe behavior, childhood is a time of tremendous change. Genetic conditions and congenital defects are often discovered in childhood, and early intervention can have profound impacts that are lifelong. Mental and emotional development happens quickly. Because of this rapid development, the diagnosis, treatment, or counseling must also be time-responsive.
No matter who you choose, as long as your physician is trained and board certified in providing care to a particular age group, your child is likely to receive excellent health care. Your relationship with your provider is extremely important, and you should feel comfortable with your medical provider, no matter which direction you choose.
One of the inevitable truths of pediatric care is, however, that your child will one day will outgrow the pediatric office. Aspen Family Care opened with the fundamental principle of providing a medical care continuum throughout one’s lifetime. We build relationships throughout all development years and adulthood. We cherish the relationships we build. Whenever possible, we not only do this with one member of a family, but with every member. This leads to all-encompassing care with practitioners who are part of a patient’s, and their family’s, life.