Paediatrics : Specialists

What is paediatrics?

This is a branch of medicine that deals with disease, illness or injury in children and adolescents. This covers a wide spectrum, from birth through to late teens.

Once a child reaches 18 they are treated in the same way as an adult patient.

What is a paediatrician?

This is a medical professional who deals with a wide range of disorders in children and teenagers. These include asthma, congenital birth defects and childhood cancers, e.g. leukaemia.

What does a paediatrician do?

They diagnose and treat childhood disorders: they also have an awareness of the particular needs of children and how they react differently to treatment compared to an adult.

Medical problems in children require a different approach to those in adults. A paediatrician is trained to recognise that as well as the fact that a child is, in most cases, unable to make a decision for themselves. As a result of this, the paediatrician has to involve the parents as well as the child in the treatment process.

This differs in adolescents who are likely to have a greater understanding of what their condition is and what their treatment will entail.

They will treat the following:

  • Paediatric oncology (childhood cancers)
  • Birth defects
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Undescended testes
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