What is different about pediatric medicine in children? Children are not just small adults. During the period from birth to adolescence, children go through many complex stages of growth and development. Children are at risk for very different diseases than adults and they respond differently to illnesses as well as to treatment. The most obvious changes occurring during childhood is growth from a 6- to 7-pound newborn to a 120- to 160-pound adolescent. During this period the child develops intellectually and physically from the totally dependent infant to the self-sufficient and independent young adult. Deviations from normal patterns of growth and development are nonspecific, but they are often important indicators of serious medical or social problems. Thus, accurate measurements of height and weight and assessment of developmental milestones are an important aspect of every pediatric office visit. Serial measurements are more useful than any single values to help identify clearer trends. Careful charting of height, weight, and head circumference is important to proper monitoring. Although there is great variability among normal individuals, for the most part values within two standard deviations of the mean are accepted as normal.
KeywordsAtopic Dermatitis Respiratory Syncytial Virus Status Epilepticus Febrile Seizure Bacterial Pneumonia
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