What is pediatric & adolescent care?
Pediatric & adolescent care focuses on the health of infants, children and patients up to the age of 18. Family medicine providers not only treat children with acute or chronic illnesses, but they also focus on preventive health. This can include a child’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Immunizations play a big role in preventive health and you should speak with a healthcare provider to discuss the proper immunization schedule for your child.
What is the aim of pediatrics?
Healthcare providers aim to prevent disease and ease symptoms, reduce infant and child death rates, control the spread of infectious diseases and promote healthy lifestyle choices. Pediatric care covers injuries, infections, congenital conditions, organ dysfunction, diseases and cancers. It is important for a provider to not only focus on the management of a patient’s current health, but also the long-term effects on quality of life. Social stresses, depression, anxiety disorders, behavioral problems, developmental delays/disorders and functional disabilities are all major concerns for pediatricians and their adolescent patients.
How does this care differ from adult medicine?
Genetic variance, congenital defects and developmental concerns are more of a focus for younger patients than adults. They all have long-term effects on a child’s health and life. Knowing this information early on will be extremely helpful going forward. Another major difference is the legal issues involved with pediatric and adolescent care. As minors, children cannot make medical decisions for themselves. Every pediatric procedure must take privacy, guardianship, informed consent and legal responsibility into consideration.
What are immunizations?
Immunizations, or vaccinations, are lab-made proteins or small amounts of a weakened or killed virus/bacteria that are injected into a patient in order to imitate and prevent that same virus/bacteria. When your child gets a vaccine, he or she is being injected with a small amount or weakened form of a disease. This triggers the body’s immune response, causing it to produce antibodies to fight that virus or induce other processes that help the immune system. Going forward, their body will either be prepared to fight that same disease in the future or the vaccine will reduce its severity.
Thanks to vaccines, we have also been able to eliminate cases of smallpox and polio. Certain vaccines only need to be given once, but others require boosters to maintain their successful immunization.