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Pediatrics 101: What parents need to know

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You may have heard that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Parents, siblings, teachers and others play major roles in a child’s happiness and health. Likewise, a child’s medical team is also vital. Whether you’re a new mom or dad or the parent of two or more children, learning more about the field of pediatrics can help you make better decisions for your little ones.

What is pediatrics?

Pediatric and newborn medicine is also referred to as pediatrics. It’s a segment of medical science that deals with the physical, social and mental health of kids from birth to young adults.

What is a pediatrician?

A pediatrician is a doctor who manages the health of your child, including physical, mental and behavior issues. These doctors are highly trained to diagnose and treat children’s problems ranging from minor health issues to serious diseases. They went to medical school, and then completed a “residency program” in pediatrics to obtain additional training focused on caring for kids.

What does a pediatrician do?

From birth to age 2, a pediatrician will see your child many times. After the age of 2, this doctor will likely see your little one for annual checkups. When your child gets sick, the pediatrician is the first person you need to call. These doctors do many vital tasks. For instance, they:

  • Conduct physical exams
  • Give vaccinations
  • Diagnose and treat injuries, illnesses, infections and other health issues
  • Check milestones in growth, skills and behavior
  • Provide information about a child’s health, food, fitness and safety needs
  • Refer your kid to a specialist if they think he or she needs expert care. If your child requires something major like plastic surgery for a cleft lip or a visit to a pediatric neurology specialist, the team at SIU Medicine has many pediatric specialists to help your family.

Why academic medicine for your child?

The pediatricians at SIU Medicine use treatments shaped by a mission to advance your child’s health while advancing medical research. Through education and research, they strive to elevate the community’s health while pursuing cures and new treatments for both the present and future.

Finding the right pediatrician is often a top concern for parents. The pediatricians at SIU Medicine want your child to have a long, healthy life. And they know this requires having a highly trained, informed doctor from the start. At SIU Medicine, your little one is in good hands.

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