The branch of medicine concerned with the care of children. This starts with newborn, especially premature, babies in whom intensive care is required to protect the baby from and adapt it to the environment outside the womb (uterus). An important aspect is the recognition and treatment of congenital disease in which structural or functional defects occur due to inherited disease (e.g., Down's syndrome) or disease acquired during the development of the embryo and fetus (e.g., spina bifida. Otherwise, infectious disease, failure to grow or develop normally, mental retardation, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and epilepsy form the bulk of pediatric practice.
Related category HEALTH AND DISEASE
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