Children need proper care as they’re growing. Their development depends on the nurturing they get at home and the guidance of a doctor. Pediatricians are health professionals who specialize in the field of pediatrics.
A pediatrician’s role involves medical care and ensuring that the child is growing according to their age. Medical care for children requires screening and prevention of both acute and chronic illnesses. So when you bring in your child, a doctor examines multiple factors. If they feel a child is struggling or showing symptoms of a severe illness, you’ll know right away. If you wish to understand a pediatrician specific role, here’s what they do:
1. Motor Skills
Between 8 and 18 months, children begin to walk, and they attempt climbing stairs and even hold objects. These skills continue to develop as a child gets older and has a healthy environment. So a pediatrician will check your child’s ability to hold and use their muscles. They may give your child different objects to hold with varying difficulties. They may also ask your child to perform various movements.
If your child has difficulty in performing essential functions, it may mean a more profound disorder. The child may have gotten injured at birth, such as cerebral palsy, or has muscular dystrophy. You should try and facilitate your knowledge about pediatricians by getting certified. Professionals dealing with pediatrics can also upgrade their knowledge by searching for PALS certification near me and sign up to hone their skills.
2. Language Development
Children start understanding language before they can speak. Even if the child only says a handful of words, they can understand instructions. Speech delays are not concerning as some children do pick up words but have trouble communicating. But after a child suppresses the average age to speak, they may need to visit a doctor. Speech problems don’t interfere with other functions, but some speech delays may indicate a severe problem.
If your child shows excessive resistance and hesitation to speak, they should get tested for different conditions. Some children may have hearing problems or even speech issues. At the same time, if a child comes in with accelerated speech, they may be gifted or possess the skills of geniuses. A pediatrician can guide the parents about the ages when children start talking. By the age of 3, children can form sentences. By age 6 or 7, most children also begin going to school. At the same time, the timeline eases parents and informs them when they need to get worried.
3. Assessing Their General Health
A doctor needs to check a child’s well-being. They need to assess their oral health and inspect for cavities and observe if all the milk teeth are growing as they should. A child’s weight also gets noted and if they have any bone deformities. A pediatrician may also inspect for ear infections and the child’s vision. General inspections are also necessary. They inform you if your child’s overall health is doing well. If the child is ill and not doing well, it hinders their growth. A pediatrician may also inform you what your child needs more in their diet. Part of the checkup is ensuring all-important vaccines are also administered. General checkups need to happen every month or more frequently if the child is unwell.
4. Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is all about the intellectual growth of a child. From ages two onwards, children start showing signs of intellect. They’re able to understand you as well as the environment around them. They’re also able to express if they need something from you. As a parent, you can nurture a child’s intellectual abilities by talking to them. Reading to them and allowing their senses to grow through touch, feel, and sight also helps. However, some children don’t show interest in learning or growing. They may have trouble sitting for too long or not getting the proper diet they need. A pediatrician may also help you as a parent identify if your child has intellectual disabilities.
In some cases, a child may also have signs and symptoms of autism or ADHD. In such cases, a pediatrician may make recommendations on how you can help your child. These can include taking them to a specialist and encouraging you to learn patterns about your child that can help.
5. Emotional Growth and Behavior Development
Emotions and behavior are essential in a child’s development. Emotions control different mechanisms of our body. When a child is safe and happy they will enjoy the environment they’re growing in. They’ll eat, sleep and even enjoy physical activities. These children also have no trouble making friends and socializing. The other side of the picture is children growing up in neglected households. These children often have trouble understanding or communicating what they want. They show signs of insulation and may be malnourished. Parents play a significant role in a child’s emotional growth. While learning to communicate, children resort to tantrums and crying to make their emotions known. Instead of rebuking the child, parents can guide the child in what to say when they feel a certain way. By the age of 7, most children can express what they want to say. Children who are emotionally distressed develop their coping mechanisms. For some, it may be excessively eating and neglecting their health.
Pediatricians play an essential role in a child’s development. No parent is born with the skills to raise a child, but with the proper guidance, they can do well. Pediatricians take in the complete picture of a child by observing a child’s motor skills and language processing. The checkup extends towards a child’s physical health, ensuring they’re doing well. It also goes to their cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development. Minor delays in a child’s development are natural. A pediatrician can inform you when you should get concerned and get more tests. So, as long as you make sure you take your child to all their appointments, your child will always be safe and happy.