The Field of Pediatrics: What You Should Know
The field of pediatrics is the branch of medicine that’s responsible for studying both sick and healthy children. In addition, they study them from birth through adolescence.
Pediatrics covers both the hospital and primary care settings. In fact, in primary care settings, they check in on healthy kids periodically too.
Important check-ups in the field of pediatrics
We’re categorizing these check-ups according to their age. Some of these are right after they’re born, and they all include very important data.
First week of life
In the first week of babies’ lives, it’s important to go to the pediatrician’s office for the first check-up. In this appointment, your doctor will do the following things:
- Check medical history, starting with your health history. The most important data is on your pregnancy, delivery, and perinatal period.
- Talk about taking care of the baby and answering the parents’ questions.
- Ask the type of feeding: breast milk or formula.
- Give guidelines to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
At the first appointment, the doctor will also do a series of tests. In fact, lots of them happen at the hospital before going home.
- Metabolic tests (heel test.) Doctors do this in the first 48 hours.
- Neonatal hearing loss screening.
- Give the first vaccines. In some areas, doctors start giving vaccines right away. However, some doctors may wait a little later to give the first vaccines.
In addition, doctors will check babies’ height and weight at all check-ups. Also, they’ll check the perimeter of the baby’s head.
Moms who want to breastfeed their baby will also get information so they can breastfeed easily. If you have other questions, your midwife is another great person to ask.
Additionally, doctors will also explain all about car seats.
Before your baby is 1 month old
In this visit, your doctor will check your baby’s progress since the first visit. They’ll also answer questions you may have and carry out some more tests.
In addition to weighing and measuring your baby, your doctor will also do the following tests:
- Eye examination
- Auditory screening, testing your baby’s reaction to sound
- Listen to your baby’s heart
- Check for developmental dysplasia of the hip
- Cryptorchidism screening in boys
- Check psychomotor development
Also, your doctor will give your baby the immunizations he or she needs according to the vaccine schedule.
Additional check-ups in the field of pediatrics
Doctors will schedule other check-ups as well. Usually, they can happen at different times, depending on your region. Generally, they happen every two months during the first 6 months of your baby’s life. Then, they happen farther apart.
These visits focus on caring for your child, answering questions parents have, and taking measures to promote health and prevent disease.
At the office, they’ll measure and weigh your child. Also, the staff will check their psychomotor development and the developmental milestones they reach. Therefore, they can find out if anything comes up abnormal that they need to test more.
In addition, they’ll check that all necessary tests have been done correctly. Then, they’ll make sure that your child is up to date on shots.
Finally, they’ll make sure to keep you updated on how to keep your child safe in the car. They’ll remind you what car seats your child needs as he grows.
Other check-ups in the field of pediatrics
As your child gets older, your appointments will adapt to his physical, mental and social development. Since pediatrics covers your child until adolescence, some other things that your doctor will bring up during these check-ups are:
- Healthy nutrition
- Correct dental hygiene
- Healthy physical exercise
- Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or other toxic substances
- Sexual intercourse and contraceptive methods
- Social relations
It’s very important that you go to all of these check-ups with your pediatrician. In fact, they help you make sure that your baby is developing properly physically, mentally and socially. Additionally, if they notice anything abnormal, you can seek treatment right away.