Science and medicine are continually evolving to provide more comprehensive treatments for infants and children born with congenital conditions or that have development differences.
The study of pediatrics, the treatment of childhood diseases and conditions, helps children and their families overcome small and large health issues. It also provides ongoing proactive and preventative care for children to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to treat childhood conditions that were untreatable in the past.
A family doctor or even a general pediatrician may make a recommendation to a family to see a specialist in some area of pediatrics. These specialists have additional training to help children and parents when specific medical, developmental or mental health conditions may be present. In some cases, children at high risk of developing specific conditions may be seen by a specialist in pediatrics as a preventative option.
While a pediatrician is trained in general health for children of all ages, she or he also specializes in the stages of child development. This can include talking to parents if there are atypical types of development or if normal development is delayed.
Often this is not a serious health issue, but additional support, therapy and monitoring can be instrumental in providing the support and services needed for the child and the family. This is particularly important in infancy and through the toddler years where much of the musculoskeletal development occurs.
This also comes into play later in life as well. Adolescents and pre-adolescents may experience periods of depression or anxiety or even issues with body image. A pediatrician can provide education for the child and also make referrals to pediatric psychologists or counselors to help the child and the parents to address these often very difficult issues that kids face.
The support of a pediatrician is a very big factor for parents to consider. As kids get older, they will also be more comfortable with the doctor, more open to discussing issues and in getting the help they need.