Children are not just miniature adults, but individuals with bodies and minds that grow at an amazing rate.
In the first year of life, a newborn may grow from seven pounds and 20 inches tall into a toddler whose weight has increased by 200 percent and length by 50 percent.
And, in that same year, that same toddler has learned to communicate, walk, eat, drink, and play, and make his or her desires and needs known.
Although in subsequent years, growth in stature and abilities may not be as rapid and dramatic, mental, physical, and emotional development continue to change. And, through it all, from infancy to adolescence, parents must see that this child is weighed and measured regularly; receives immunizations; has routine checkups to make sure development is going well; is cared for when sick or hurt; and is able able to handle the pressures that life brings.
Pediatricians and children's health care professionals provide comprehensive services for children of all ages. From specialized care for premature babies to routine checkups and well-child care, they have the expertise to help parents give their children the right start to a healthy life. Pediatricians and nurse practitioners also provide guidance to families, become health consultants to child care programs, and are advocates for quality child care.