Paediatricians and specialists in paediatric fields are doctors who manage medical conditions affecting young children, infants, and adolescents. Generally, paediatricians have a role in your child’s healthcare up to the age of 18.
What conditions does a paediatrician treat?
A child’s body and an adult’s body are of course different, as children are not simply ‘smaller adults’. Different conditions can affect children, which mean they require a doctor specialising in those particular medical conditions and the anatomy of the child. Paediatricians first qualify as doctors in the UK then go on to specialise in paediatrics.
Paediatricians are able to treat and manage a number of conditions, ranging from minor health problems like a cough orrash, to more serious or long-term conditions, including congenital defects, hormonal problems, developmental issues, and mental or behavioural problems.
As there are a number of conditions which affect children and which require specialist assessment, paediatricians work closely with doctors in other specialties, and can choose to further specialise in specific sub-specialties of paediatrics.
Which sub-specialties are included under paediatrics?
Paediatric sub-specialties in the UK include:
Child mental health (assessing and managing mental health difficulties)
Community child health (caring for vulnerable children e.g those with developmental problems, or those who are at risk of facing abuse)
Neonatal medicine (caring for newborns or premature babies)
Your child will see a paediatrician throughout their young life until around the age of 18. If necessary, your paediatrician or GP will refer your child on to a specialist area for their treatment or assessment if it is considered that they need further assessment or more specialised management.