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Pediatrics is the field of medicine that focuses on the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents from birth up to the age of 21. Medical doctors who specialize in this field are called pediatricians. Not only do they provide medical care for children who are acutely or chronically ill, but they also provide preventative health services for healthy children. They manage the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the children under their care through all stages of growth and development. They are involved in the prevention, early detection, and management problems, including:
When children get hurt or sick, they treat a range of injuries and diseases, such as infections, cancers, organ diseases, and dysfunctions, as well as genetic and congenital conditions. Some pediatricians are primary care physicians (meaning they are your first stop for general medical care and wellness visits for your children), while others specialize. There are more than 30 pediatric specialties, including pediatric oncology (the treatment of cancers in children), pediatric neurology (the treatment of brain and nervous system disorders in children), and pediatric cardiology (the treatment of heart conditions in children).
In general, pediatricians perform the following procedures to take care of your child:
In most cases, you and your child can leave the hospital or clinic right away after a pediatric procedure. Depending on the type of diagnostic test or medical treatment your child receives, you should plan to stay in Spain for around 2 to 7 days. During your stay, your child may need to attend several follow-up checkups where the pediatrician checks if the treatment is working for them.
The recovery times can be different from one child to another, depending on the overall health of your child, the specific condition they have, and the treatment they receive. For diagnostic tests, such as a physical exam, there is typically no recovery time needed. After vaccination, some children may develop a fever for 1 to 2 days. The pediatrician will let you know when your child can resume their normal activity level and go back to school after treatment.
During your child’s recovery period, it is important that you monitor them closely. Make sure that they drink plenty of liquid, eat a healthy diet (as recommended by the pediatrician), and get plenty of rest. A regular visit to the pediatrician is important, every two to three months for children aged 1-month-old to 2 years old, every six months for 2 to 3 years old, and then once a year after the age of 4 up to 21.
As the field of pediatrics continues to advance, the safety and success rate of pediatrics procedures continues to increase as well. With new technology, more knowledge, and a deeper understanding of pediatrics, the death rate of infants and children has been decreasing significantly in the last century. Of course, all procedures carry some type of risks and side effects. For instance, vaccinations have some side effects such as low-grade fever, soreness, temporary headache, or a severe allergic reaction.
There are no alternatives to seeing a pediatrician that manages the health, growth, and development of your child. Should your pediatrician found something that needs specialized care, they will refer you to the relevant specialist.