Pediatrics (also spelled pediatrics or pediatrics) is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents, and the age limit usually ranges from birth up to 18 years of age (in some places until completion of secondary education, and until age 21 in the United States). A medical practitioner who specializes in this area is known as a pediatrician or pediatrician.
The word paediatrics and its cognates mean “healer of children”. Pediatricians work both in hospitals, particularly those working in its specialized subfields such as neonatology, and as primary care physicians who specialize in children.
A major difference between the practice of pediatric and adult medicine is that children, in most jurisdictions and with certain exceptions, cannot make decisions for themselves. The issues of guardianship, privacy, legal responsibility and informed consent must always be considered in every pediatric procedure. Pediatricians often have to treat the parents and sometimes, the family, rather than just the child.
Adolescents are in their own legal class, having rights to their own health care decisions in certain circumstances. The concept of legal consent combined with the non-legal consent (assent) of the child when considering treatment options, especially in the face of conditions with poor prognosis or complicated and painful procedures/surgeries, means the pediatrician must take in to account the desires of many people, not just the patient.
THE SWEDISH PHYSICIAN NILS ROSÉN VON ROSENSTEIN (1706–1773) IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE FOUNDER OF MODERN PEDIATRICS AS A MEDICAL SPECIALTY, WHILE HIS WORK THE DISEASES OF CHILDREN, AND THEIR REMEDIES (1764) IS CONSIDERED TO BE “THE FIRST MODERN TEXTBOOK ON THE SUBJECT”....Read More