About Pediatrician Speciality
A paediatrician or pediatrician is a trained medical professional who diagnoses and treats diseases and ailments related to infants, children, and adolescents. Paediatricians/pediatrician are entitled to diagnose and treat infections, injuries, and many types of organic disease and dysfunction in children. Other than these, paediatricians focus on prevention, detection, and management of physical, behavioural, developmental, and social problems that affect children.
In order to become a certified paediatrician, one must complete graduation from a medical college followed by 4-year medical program, at least 3-8 years of residency program. They can then choose a sub-specialization, such as auto-immune disorders or paediatric/pediatric surgery. In short, paediatricians must complete minimum of eight years of education and an extensive residency to enter their chosen field, which involves ensuring babies, children and adolescents stay healthy.
When to see a paediatrician/ pediatrician?
Following are certain conditions in which you must take your child to a paediatrician.
- Developmental delay
- Asthma attack
- Behaviour or mood issues
- Child is unresponsive
- Vision problems
- Chronic ear infections
- Delayed speech
- Headaches, weakness or seizures
- Bedwetting and incontinence
- Digestive problems
Common diseases diagnosed and treated by a paediatrician
Fever refers to as high body temperature. In children, temperature over 99.5°F is called fever. A high body temperature in children may indicate a serious infection. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of fever in children.
Symptoms of fever
Symptoms include sweating, shivering, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, dehydration, or general weakness.
Treatment of fever
A paediatrician may prescribe paracetamol or ibuprofen which helps to reduce fever, as well as being painkillers. In case of fever caused by bacteria, he may prescribe an antibiotic.
Chickenpox is a common disease that affects children and causes an itchy, spotty rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of chickenpox.
Symptoms of Chickenpox
Symptoms include feeling tired and generally unwell, a high temperature, feeling sick, headache, aching, painful muscles, loss of appetite, spots, blisters, scabs and crusts.
Treatment of Chickenpox
A paediatrician may prescribe an antiviral medicine for children with chickenpox who are at risk for complications. The course of antiviral medicine will depend on a child's age and health, the extent of the infection, and the timing of the treatment.
Measles, also known as rubeola, is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It can be unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of measles.
Symptoms of Measles
Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, and a cough, sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light, a high temperature, small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks.
Treatment of Measles
A paediatrician may prescribe paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce a high temperature and relieve any aches or pains. Measles usually improve within 7 to 10 days.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection which leads to severe coughing spells and mostly serious for babies. It is characterised by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like a whoop. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of pertussis.
Symptoms of Pertussis
Symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, red, watery eyes, fever and cough.
Treatment of Pertussis
A paediatrician may prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing whooping cough and help speed recovery.
Asthma refers to inflammation of airways in the lungs induced mainly by allergies, colds and exercise. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of asthma in children.
Symptoms of Asthma
Symptoms include cough, wheezing, a high-pitched, whistle-like sound when exhaling, trouble breathing or shortness of breath, uncomfortable feeling in the chest.
Treatment of Asthma
A paediatrician may prescribe short-acting drugs to treat asthma attacks along with daily medication to prevent them from occurring.
Mumps is a viral infection that usually affects the parotid glands. It’s marked by painful swellings at the side of the face under the ears. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of mumps.
Symptoms of Mumps
Symptoms include painful salivary glands on one or both sides of your face, fever, headache, muscle aches, weakness and fatigue, loss of appetite, pain while chewing or swallowing.
Treatment of Mumps
The infection usually goes away in a week or two. A paediatrician may prescribe over-the-counter painkillers to relieve any pain along with suggesting drinking plenty of fluids and taking bed rest.
German Measles (Rubella)
German measles, commonly referred to as rubella, is a contagious viral infection marked by a red rash on the body. This infection can spread from person to person through contact with droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of German measles.
Symptoms of German measles
Symptoms include red rash that begins on the face and then spreads downward to the rest of the body, mild fever, tender lymph nodes, stuffy nose, headache, muscle pain, inflamed or red eyes.
Treatment of German measles
In most cases, treatment isn’t necessary. A paediatrician may prescribe over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen to relieve discomfort from fever and aches.
Fifth disease, sometimes called slapped-cheek disease is a common and highly contagious childhood disease which occurs because of the distinctive face rash that develops. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of Fifth disease.
Symptoms of Fifth disease
Symptoms include fever, upset stomach, headache runny nose, bright red facial rash on both cheeks extending up to the arms, trunk, thighs and buttocks.
Treatment of Fifth disease
No treatment is necessary for most people. A paediatrician may prescribe over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen to relieve discomfort from fever and headache. He may suggest drinking a lot of fluids and getting extra rest.
Pneumonia is a commonly occurring respiratory infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. Bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause pneumonia. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of pneumonia.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Symptoms include chest pain when you breathe, confusion, cough, which may produce phlegm, fatigue, sweating and shaking chills, lower than normal body temperature, vomiting or diarrhoea and shortness of breath.
Treatment of Pneumonia
A paediatrician may prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial pneumonia along with cough medicines to eliminate your cough completely and aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever and discomfort.
Hearing Loss in Children
Hearing loss in children is a common problem that often develops with age or is caused by persistent introduction to loud noises. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of hearing loss in children.
Symptoms of hearing loss in children
Symptoms include children are slow learning to talk, or they're not clear when they speak, often ask you to repeat yourself or responds inappropriately to a question, doesn't reply when you call them, often talks very loudly, often turns up the volume of the TV so it's very loud, watches other people to copy instructions, because they haven't heard.
Treatment of hearing loss in children
A paediatrician may suggest different forms of treatments for hearing loss in children including hearing aids, cochlear implants, speech therapy and assistive listening devices.
Vomiting is a common ailment in children. In most cases, it will last no longer than one to two days. Vomiting in children is caused by gastroenteritis, an infection of the digestive tract. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of vomiting in children.
Symptoms of Vomiting in children
Symptoms include no urination for 6-8 hours, dry mouth, wrinkled skin, decreased alertness, excessive sleepiness, rapid breathing, weakened pulse or sunken eyes.
Treatment of Vomiting in children
A paediatrician may prescribe oral rehydration powder which children who are vomiting should keep taking.
Croup refers to an infection of the upper airway which interferes with breathing and leads to barking cough. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of croup.
Symptoms of Croup
Symptoms include a bark-like cough, hoarse or croaky voice, difficulty breathing and harsh grating sound when breathing in, called stridor.
Treatment of Croup
A paediatrician may prescribe a type of steroid such as glucocorticoid, dexamethasone or epinephrine to reduce inflammation in the airway.
Meningitis refers to a swelling of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord. It is usually caused by a viral infection but bacterial and fungal infections are other causes. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of meningitis.
Symptoms of Meningitis
Symptoms include sudden high fever, stiff neck, severe headache, headache with nausea or vomiting, difficulty concentrating, seizures, sleepiness, sensitivity to light, no appetite or thirst and skin rash.
Treatment of Meningitis
For bacterial meningitis, a paediatrician may prescribe intravenous antibiotics and corticosteroids. For viral meningitis, he may suggest over- the-counter pain medications to help reduce fever and relieve body aches. For fungal meningitis, a paediatrician may prescribe a combination of specific antibiotics.
Roseola refers to an infection that usually affects children by age 2. Two common forms of herpes virus cause roseola. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of roseola.
Symptoms of Roseola
Symptoms include fever, rash, irritability in infants and children, mild diarrhoea, decreased appetite and swollen eyelids.
Treatment of Roseola
A paediatrician may prescribe over-the-counter medications to reduce fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Children with weak immune system who have contracted roseola, a paediatrician may prescribe the antiviral medication ganciclovir to treat the infection.
Conjunctivitis refers to an inflammation and redness of the clear layer which covers the white part of the eye and the lining of the eyelids. It is a very common condition in children. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of conjunctivitis in children.
Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
Symptoms include redness of the white part of the eye, irritation or gritty feeling, eye discharge, more tears than usual, swelling of the eyelids, crusting of the eyelids or eyelashes and itchiness.
Treatment of Conjunctivitis
A paediatrician may prescribe antibiotic ointment or drops for bacterial conjunctivitis. Antihistamines will be prescribed for allergic conjunctivitis and viral conjunctivitis will get better on its own.
Polio is a harmful viral illness which in extreme form causes paralysis, difficulty breathing and sometimes death. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of polio.
Symptoms of Polio
Symptoms include fever, sore throat, headache, vomiting, fatigue, back pain, neck pain, stiffness in the arms or legs, muscle weakness and meningitis.
Treatment of Polio
A paediatrician may suggest bed rest, pain relievers, portable ventilators to assist breathing,
moderate exercise and a nutritious diet for the treatment of polio.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, commonly known as juvenile diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of Type 1 diabetes.
Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes
Symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, bedwetting in children who previously didn't wet the bed, extreme hunger, unintended weight loss, mood changes, fatigue and weakness, blurred vision and in females, a vaginal yeast infection.
Treatment of Type 1 diabetes
A paediatrician may suggest taking insulin, carbohydrate counting, frequent blood sugar monitoring, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes.
Diphtheria is a dangerous bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. It can easily spread from one person to another. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of diphtheria.
Symptoms of Diphtheria
Symptoms include fever, chills, swollen glands in the neck, barking cough, sore throat, bluish skin, drooling and general feeling of uneasiness or discomfort.
Treatment of Diphtheria
A paediatrician may prescribe an antitoxin injection along with antibiotics such as erythromycin and penicillin to help reduce the infection.
Bronchiolitis is an inflammatory respiratory condition commonly seen in children and infants. It is caused by a virus which leads to inflammation and congestion in the small airways of the lung. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of bronchiolitis.
Symptoms of Bronchiolitis
Symptoms include shortness of breath, shortness of breath, bluish appearance of the skin, crackling sounds heard in the lungs, fatigue, ribs that appear sunken, nasal flaring, fast breathing and cough.
Treatment of Bronchiolitis
Viral bronchiolitis goes away on its own. A paediatrician may prescribe corticosteroids to help clear the lungs of mucus, reduce inflammation, and open up the airways.
Kawasaki disease refers to a swelling in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body. The disease is commonly seen in children. The inflammation tends to affect the coronary arteries. A paediatrician is a specialist with expertise in the management of Kawasaki disease.
Symptoms of Kawasaki disease
Symptoms include high fever, extremely red eyes, genital rash, red, dry, cracked lips, swollen lymph nodes, irritability, peeling of the skin on the hands and feet, joint pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Treatment of Kawasaki disease
A paediatrician may prescribe intravenous gamma globulin to lower the risk of coronary artery problems along with aspirin to decrease pain and joint inflammation, as well as reduce the fever.