pediatrics


pediatrics
pediatric, adj.
/pee'dee a"triks, ped'ee-/, n. (used with a sing. v.)
the branch of medicine concerned with the development, care, and diseases of babies and children.
[1880-85; pediatr(ic) (see PED-1, -IATRIC) + -ICS]

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Medical specialty dealing with the development, health, and diseases of children.

It became a specialized area of study in the 18th century, when the first children's hospitals were founded. Early pediatricians studied childhood diseases (see Thomas Sydenham) but could do little to cure them. By the mid-20th century, when antibiotics and vaccines had controlled most of these diseases in the developed world and infant and child mortality had fallen, pediatrics changed its focus to normal growth and child development. Recently, behavioral and social aspects of children's health have been incorporated.

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      medical specialty dealing with the development and care of children and with the diagnosis and treatment of childhood diseases (childhood disease and disorder). The first important review of childhood illness, an anonymous European work called The Children's Practice, dates from the 12th century. The specialized focus of pediatrics did not begin to emerge in Europe until the 18th century. The first specialized children's hospitals, such as the London Foundling Hospital, established in 1745, were opened at this time. These hospitals later became major centres for training in pediatrics, which began to be taught as a separate discipline in medical schools by the middle of the 19th century.

      The major focus of early pediatrics was the treatment of infectious diseases that affected children. Thomas Sydenham (Sydenham, Thomas) in Britain had led the way with the first accurate descriptions of measles, scarlet fever, and other diseases in the 17th century. Clinical studies of childhood diseases proliferated throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, culminating in one of the first modern textbooks of pediatrics, published by Frédéric Rilliet and Antoine Barthez in France in 1838–43, but there was little that could be done to cure these diseases until the end of the 19th century. As childhood diseases came under control through the combined efforts of pediatricians, immunologists, and public-health workers, the focus of pediatrics began to change, and early in the 20th century the first well-child clinics were established to monitor and study the normal growth and development of children. By the mid-20th century, the use of antibiotics and vaccines had all but eliminated most serious infectious diseases of childhood in the developed world, and infant and child mortality had fallen to the lowest levels ever. In the last half of the century, pediatrics again expanded to incorporate the study of behavioral and social as well as specifically medical aspects of child health.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pediatrics — (also spelled paediatrics) is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. The upper age limit ranges from age 14 to 18, depending on the country. A medical practitioner who specializes in this… …   Wikipedia

  • Pediatrics — "Pediatrics is concerned with the health of infants, children and adolescents, their growth and development, and their opportunity to achieve full potential as adults." (Richard E.Behrman in Nelson s Textbook of Pediatrics) Pediatrics… …   Medical dictionary

  • Pediatrics — Ped i*at rics, n. That branch of medical science which treats of the hygiene and diseases of children. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pediatrics — 1884; from PEDIATRIC (Cf. pediatric); see ICS (Cf. ics) …   Etymology dictionary

  • pediatrics — (Brit. paediatrics) ► PLURAL NOUN (treated as sing. ) ▪ the branch of medicine concerned with children and their diseases. DERIVATIVES pediatric adjective pediatrician noun. ORIGIN from Greek pais child + iatros physician …   English terms dictionary

  • pediatrics — [pē΄dē a′triks] n. [< PED(O) + IATRICS] the branch of medicine dealing with the development and care of infants and children, and with the treatment of their diseases, illnesses, etc. pediatric adj …   English World dictionary

  • pediatrics — noun plural but singular or plural in construction Date: 1884 a branch of medicine dealing with the development, care, and diseases of children …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pediatrics — noun The branch of medicine that deals with the treatment of children. See Also: pediatric, pediatrician …   Wiktionary

  • pediatrics — pe|di|at|rics [ˌpi:diˈætrıks] n the American spelling of ↑paediatrics …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pediatrics — pe|di|at|rics [ ,pidi ætrıks ] noun uncount the part of medical science that deals with children and the treatment of their illnesses …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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