Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with themedical care of infants and children . Mostpediatricians are members of a national body, such as the CanadianPaediatric Society , the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons or the American Academy of Pediatrics .
One of the major challenges facing pediatricians is that the range ofbody sizes (and weights) that they face in pediatrics is much greater than in adult medicine. For example, a preterm neonate can be less than 2kg in weight while an obese adolescent may be larger than the typical adult.
Childhood is the period of greatest growth, development and maturation of the various organ systems in the body. Years oftraining and experience (above and beyond basic medical training) goes into recognizing the difference between normal variantsand what is actually pathological .
Another major difference between pediatrics and adult medicine is that children are minors and, in most jurisdictions , cannot make decisions for themselves. The issue of guardianship , legal responsibility and informed consent must always be consideredin every pediatric procedure. In a sense, pediatricians often have to treat the parents (and sometimes, the family), not just thechild.
Abraham Jacobi is considered the father of pediatrics.
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