Amber Hairfield DO and David P. McCormick MD
Pediatricians are in a unique position to contribute to the good health and success of children under their care. A pediatrician often has the opportunity to know the family from the birth of the child and understands the social, medical and developmental factors that can potentially interfere with normal function. The pediatrician can facilitate medical management, provide a referral to a specialist when necessary, work closely with schools and agencies to provide necessary additional services, and initiate community action projects to address important health issues.
It has been said that "the child is not just a small adult." Children differ from grown-ups in both physiology and pathology. They also differ from each other. The health needs of infants, children, and teenagers are not identical.
This chapter will help you learn to:
- obtain a history and perform a physical examination in infants, pre-school, and school-age children,
- provide age-appropriate health-maintenance advice,
- assess and recognize common variations in development, and
- use growth charts to recognize common variations in growth.