What is Paediatrics?

Paediatrics is the branch of medicine that specialises in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. It focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating various health conditions that affect a child's physical and mental development.

It includes giving preventive care like vaccines, regular checkups, and screenings to help kids grow up healthy. Additionally, paediatricians can diagnose, treat, and manage illnesses and injuries that affect children.

Cases Handled by Pediatricians

Paediatricians are specially trained to diagnose, treat, and manage various conditions affecting children from birth to adulthood. Common conditions that paediatricians manage include:

  • Ear infections
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Developmental disorders
  • Sleep problems
  • Childhood cancers

Paediatricians also provide preventive care to help children stay healthy, including advice about nutrition and exercise and screening for vision, hearing, and growth problems. When necessary, paediatricians will refer children to a specialist for further treatment.

How Does Paediatric Medicine Differ From Adult Medicine?

Paediatrics focuses on the health of infants, children, and adolescents. Some of the primary differences include the ability to diagnose and treat childhood illnesses that may not be present in adults, such as growth and development issues. Additionally, paediatricians must also be able to provide additional care for their young patients beyond medical care, such as nutritional advice, psychological support, and even guidance on educational development.

Training of paediatricians

Paediatric training begins with three years of medical school, during which students learn the fundamentals of medicine. After graduating from medical school, aspiring paediatricians enter a 3- to 4-year residency program. During this time, they are exposed to clinical settings and begin to develop their skills as a primary care doctor.

Rotations through inpatient and outpatient settings provide residents with experience in diagnosing and treating a variety of paediatric diseases and conditions. Residents also learn about preventive care, teen health, nutrition, and mental health while in school. At the end of the residency, paediatricians must pass a licencing exam to practise as independent paediatricians.

Paediatricians can also choose to specialise in one or more areas of paediatrics, such as cardiology, infectious diseases, neonatology, endocrinology, neurology, nephrology, or genetics. To do this, they must complete additional training or a fellowship after residency to become board-certified in their chosen subspecialty.

Subspecialties in Pediatrics

Paediatrics is a wide-ranging field of medicine, and it has many subspecialties. A paediatrician may specialise in one or more of these subspecialties, which require additional training and qualifications. Some of the more common subspecialties in paediatrics include:

  1. Neonatology: This is the care of newborns and premature babies and the management of any medical conditions they may have. Neonatologists care for babies who are sick at birth, like those with respiratory distress syndrome, jaundice, or birth defects.
  2. Paediatric Cardiology: This speciality focuses on diagnosing and treating heart defects and other cardiac conditions in children. These paediatric cardiologists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the structure and function of the heart, such as congenital heart defects and acquired heart conditions.
  3. Paediatric Endocrinology: This is the study of hormones and their effects on growth and development in children. Pediatric endocrinologists treat hormone-related conditions such as diabetes, growth disorders, puberty problems, thyroid problems, and obesity.
  4. Paediatric gastroenterology: This is the study of children's digestive system diseases and disorders. Acid reflux, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and pancreatic diseases are all diagnosed and treated by paediatric gastroenterologists.
  5. Paediatric Neurology: This is the treatment of children who have neurological disorders. Pediatric neurologists diagnose and treat conditions such as seizures, migraines, cerebral palsy, autism, muscular dystrophy, stroke, and head injuries.
  6. Paediatric Oncology: The diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancers. Paediatric oncologists diagnose and treat a variety of cancers, such as leukaemia, lymphoma, brain tumours, bone cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas.
  7. Paediatric Surgery: Specialized care for children who require surgical procedures. Paediatric surgeons operate on children for a variety of reasons, such as congenital disabilities, trauma, or cancer.


Paediatrics is a branch of medicine concerned with the health and well-being of children from infancy to adolescence. It aims to provide comprehensive medical care for children to promote their healthy physical, mental, and social development. Overall, paediatrics is vital to medical care and should not be overlooked.

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1. What is paediatrics, and what do paediatricians do?

Pediatrics is a medical speciality that focuses on children's healthcare, including diagnosing and treating childhood illnesses and injuries. Paediatricians are paediatricians who have completed specialised training and are qualified to care for children's medical needs.

2. What age range do paediatricians typically treat?

Paediatricians care for children from infancy to adolescence, though some may specialise in treating specific age groups, such as newborns or teenagers.

3. How often should my child see a paediatrician?

The frequency of paediatrician visits will depend on your child's age, overall health, and any specific medical needs or concerns. Your paediatrician will recommend how often your child should be seen based on these factors.

4. What should I bring to my child's paediatrician appointment?

It is crucial to bring your child's medical records, including vaccination records, to every paediatrician appointment. You should also get a list of medications your child is taking and any specific concerns or questions about your child's health.

5. How can I choose a paediatrician for my child?

When choosing a paediatrician, it is crucial to consider factors such as qualifications, location, and availability. You may want to ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your primary care doctor and consider looking for paediatricians who are affiliated with reputable hospitals or clinics.

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