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Children Health Care

Date: May 23,2015   Read: 
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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.
 
Children's 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 grown-ups. 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 children's 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.
 
 
Children's 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 breastfeeding, newborn screening tests and sleeping safety. All too soon, there are health care 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 and when to see the dentist.
 
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 other preventable diseases such as the serious infectious diseases prevented by immunizations, and dental caries (tooth decay) which can be prevented by ongoing oral care and fluoride treatments.
 
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 some heart malformations, may not be immediately apparent. Birth defects of all kinds are a consequential concern for children and their parents.
 
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 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 is clearly untrue. 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 and 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 also not uncommon. The historically traditional biological mother/father 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.

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