ModernGhana logo
body-container-line-1
06.10.2013 Feature Article

PEDIATRIC PRACTICE AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT

PEDIATRIC PRACTICE AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Listen to article

When we began working on this article, we interviewed a lot of people if they know the importance of having specialists Doctors at their health institutions but to our surprise people did not seem to mind who saw them, provided he had the title of medical health officer or health practitioner. Well, we then decided to visit a Pediatric specialist whose scope of knowledge comprises the care and treatment of the diseases of childhood and the study of normal growth. Pediatrics became a specialty in the 20th century. In the 1980s some pediatricians began a subspecialty called adolescent medicine, which deals with the special medical and emotional needs of persons between the ages of approximately 12 and 20 years.

Pediatricians are trained to recognize congenital defects and to treat them when possible. One important treatable class of these conditions is congenital heart malformations that require surgical correction and operation of such nature have become increasingly successful. Other congenital illnesses that must be diagnosed and treated soon after birth are phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism. Pediatricians must also handle a number of infectious diseases that are most often seen in childhood. These include recurrent ear infections such as otitis media, mumps, measles, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, and croup. Many of these diseases can be prevented by immunization, which is the responsibility of the pediatrician.

Pediatricians also monitor the normal growth and development of a child according to important motor and intellectual milestones. Recognition of developmental lags may point to lack of proper nutrition, poisoning with environmental substances such as lead, or hyperactivity. In addition, pediatricians must be alert for disorders that usually first become apparent in childhood, such as allergy, immune deficiency diseases and epilepsy.

Nevertheless, child development involves a lot of things and that is physical, intellectual, social, and emotional changes that occur from birth to adolescence. Although people change throughout their lives, developmental changes are especially dramatic in childhood. During this period, a dependent, vulnerable newborn grows into a capable young person who has mastered language, self-awareness, can think and reason with sophistication, has a distinctive personality, and socializes effortlessly with others. Many abilities and characteristics developed in childhood last a lifetime.

Some developments in behavior and thought are very similar for all children. Around the world, most infants begin to focus their eyes, sit up, and learn to walk at comparable ages, and children begin to acquire language and develop logical reasoning skills at approximately the same time. These aspects of individual growth are highly predictable. Other aspects of development show a much wider range of individual differences. Whether a child becomes outgoing or shy, intellectually advanced or average, or energetic or subdued depends on many unique influences whose effects are difficult to predict at the child's birth but pediatricians do their best to screen child with special needs and offer information, education and communication on medical services that such children may need.

However, a variety of factors influence child development. Heredity guides every aspect of physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and personality development. Family members, peer groups, the school environment, and the community influence how children think, socialize, and become self-aware. Biological factors such as nutrition, medical care, and environmental hazards in the air and water affect the growth of the body and mind. Economic and political institutions, the media, and cultural values all guide how children live their lives. Critical life events, such as a family crisis or a national emergency, can alter the growth of personality and identity. Most important of all, children contribute significantly to their own development. This occurs as they strive to understand their experiences, respond in individual ways to the people around them, and choose activities, friends, and interests. Thus, the factors that guide development arise from both outside and within the person.

A pediatrician visit and knowledge of child development is valuable as a practical guidance tool for parents, teachers, child-care providers, and others who care for children. A second reason is that it enables society to support healthy growth. Understanding early brain development, for example, means that parents can provide better opportunities for intellectual stimulation, and that society can reduce or eliminate obstacles to healthy brain growth. Thirdly information on child development helps therapists and educators better assist children with special needs, such as those with emotional or learning difficulties. Finally, understanding child development contributes to self-understanding. We know ourselves better by recognizing the influences that have made us into the people we are today. As health practitioners it is also important to perform our duties within our scope and accord a chance to our clients get the necessary expert advice and treatment.

JONES. H. MUNANG'ANDU (author)
Motivational speaker, health commentator &
Health practitioner
Mobile; 0966565670/0979362525

Join our Newsletter

body-container-line