What do Pediatricians Do?
Pediatricians are doctors who have completed a pediatric residency and are board certified, or board eligible, in this specialty. Pediatrics providers are experts in preventive health maintenance and ongoing monitoring for healthy children, medical care for children who are acutely chronically ill, and coordination of care for children after a hospital discharge. Pediatricians manage the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their patients, in every stage of development, in good health or in illness. Generally, pediatricians focus on babies, children, adolescents, and young adults from birth to age 21 years. Their goal is to reduce infant and child mortality, control infectious disease, foster healthy lifestyles, and ease the difficulties of children and adolescents with chronic conditions.
In addition to taking your child to the healthcare provider when your child is ill, or needs an exam to participate in a particular activity, routine well-care visits are recommended.
Well-care, well-baby, or well-child visits are routine visits to the child’s healthcare provider for the following:
- Physical exam
- Immunization updates
- Tracking growth and development
- Finding any problems before they become serious
- Providing information on health and safety issues
- Providing information on nutrition and physical fitness
- Providing information on how to manage emergencies and illnesses
Your Child’s Growth and Development
A Healthy Kids guide to growth and development can help parents understand what is coming up next. Understanding your child’s changing and emerging growth and development is an important part of parenting. Growth and development includes not only the physical changes that will occur from infancy to adolescence, but also some of the changes in emotions, personality, behavior, thinking, and speech that children develop as they begin to understand and interact with the world around them.