Author Topic: Children's health care  (Read 3578 times)

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Offline Ahmed_07

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Children's health care
« on: February 23, 2008, 01:42:06 AM »
Introduction

Children's health , or pediatrics, focuses on the well-being of children from conception through adolescence. It is vitally concerned with all aspects of children's growth and development and with the unique opportunity that each child has to achieve their full potential as a healthy adult.

Child health was once a part of adult medicine. It emerged in the 19th and early 20th century as a medical specialty because of the gradual awareness that the health problems of children are different from those of grownups. It was also recognized that a child's response to illness, medications and the environment depends upon the age of the child.

There are many aspects to child health. Any organization of these aspects of child health is necessarily arbitrary. For example, the topics could be presented in alphabetical order. However, it seems most logical to start at the beginning -- with the factors that determine a child's healthy growth and development.

Growth and Development

A healthy child's development actually begins before conception with the parents' health and their genetic legacy. It continues on to conception and through the prenatal period. During this time, there is naturally considerable overlap between pediatric concerns for the fetus and obstetrical concerns for the mother.

Once the baby is delivered, there are new and important matters to ponder, such as breast feeding, newborn screening tests and sleeping safety. All too soon, there are healthcare appointments to be kept, for example, for well-baby checkups and immunizations. These are followed by other challenges, such as when to introduce solid foods and to start toilet training.

The field of pediatrics recognizes classic stages in growth and development, but these are artificial since a child's growth and development constitute a continuum. A baby changes at an astonishing rate during the newborn period and early infancy. Before you know it, the baby becomes a toddler, next a child and, after a little more than a decade, is already a teen. It is a busy, challenging period
Children's Illnesses

Unfortunately, even the healthiest baby can get sick. It is worth knowing the signs and symptoms of the common childhood illnesses as well as the treatment and prevention of these illnesses. There are a number of common childhood conditions such as ear infections and even tonsillitis, which may be unavoidable. But children are also subject to serious infectious diseases, some of which can be prevented by immunizations.

Children may be born with health problems. For example, a cleft lip or palate is evident at birth. But some equally common birth defects, such as heart malformations, may not be immediately apparent. Birth defects of all kinds are a consequential concern for children and their parents. It is estimated that between 2-3% of all children are born with birth defects.

Children's Injuries

It may not be possible to prevent a specific birth defect or an illness, but it should be possible to protect a child from an accident and injury, such as from common cuts and burns. Considerable progress has been made in the safety arena, for example, in the rapid recall of dangerous toys. The mandated uses of car seats, safety belts and bicycle helmets are also examples of advances in child safety.

But other major areas of safety concern remain -- such as the all-too-frequent drownings of children in swimming pools, their accidental swallowing of household cleaning products, their being burned by a hot stove or heater, or being accidentally shot with a firearm. The list is endless. All of us must exercise continued vigilance and make every effort to be sure that a child's environment is made as safe as it possibly can be.



One Love Somalia

Offline Ahmed_07

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Re: children's health care
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2008, 01:45:15 AM »
Children's Behavior

In addition to a child's physical well-being, there are also concerns about a child's behavior and emotional health. Major challenges include autism, Asperger's syndrome, learning disorders, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder).

But children may also be plagued by nightmares, sleeping difficulties, and irrational fears. Many children have trouble expressing their anger in an appropriate fashion. A major area of study is the effect on children of watching violence on television and playing violent video games.

As children get older and more independent, their chances of developing eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia increase, especially among girls who worry about being overweight. The specter of drug and substance abuse appears. Smoking also often starts in response to peer pressure. And then there are those tattoos and body-piercing.

Children's Mental Illness

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death during the teen years. Major depression and bipolar disease may underlie suicide attempts and suicide.


It was once thought that children were not subject to these mental illnesses because children had not yet developed the ability to feel hopeless and helpless about the future. That has turned out not to be true. It is now widely acknowledged that children are susceptible not only to major depression and bipolar disease but also to anxiety disorders, phobias and posttraumatic stress disorder. Here again the treatment must be appropriate for use in the pediatric age range

Family Health & Children

Family health looks at children's health and well-being in the context of their family unit. The health of the family as a whole plays a major role in determining the health of each child within that family. This applies not only to children's physical health but to their emotional health as well.

Our society professes the ideal that every child should grow up in a household under the care of a pair of loving adults who possess appropriate parenting skills. The reality today is that divorce, single parenting, and step-parenting are common. Adoption and foster-parenting are not uncommon. Surrogacy with sperm and egg donors make for some unusual parenting combinations. The traditional household is not the only type of household in which children are growing up today.

The provision of adequate child care and supervision -- and the prevention of child abuse and neglect -- need to be openly addressed. One of the most tragic situations is the physical injury, emotional damage or even death that occurs because a caregiver has shaken, burned, hit or sexually assaulted a child.

Community Health & Children

Community health goes beyond the family to the community as important to the health and well being of children. Children need a healthy and safe environment in which to grown up.

There is a big difference between living on a farm, in a small town, in the suburbs or in an inner city. A neighborhood with prostitutes, drug dealers and drive-by shootings is an unhealthy community in which to raise children. Not to mention the need for children to grow up in a healthy environment that provides clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.

Other community links that can influence the health of children include schools, sports programs and learning resources such as libraries. To paraphrase the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child, “it might be said that, “It takes the community to raise a healthy child.”

Health Care for Children

It is important to emphasize that children are not just small adults nor should they be treated as little adults. Child health care and the specialty of pediatrics are concerned with providing optimal and appropriate care to all children.

Getting appropriate, high quality health care for a child is not always easy. Existing programs for child health are not available to all families that need them. There are serious gaps between those eligible for health care and a parent's ability to afford health care. Too many children fall between the cracks, not only in the US, but in the world as a whole.

One Love Somalia

 

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