Pediatrics is the specialty of medicine that cares for infants, children, and adolescents. The ages can vary from the early months until 18-21. A person who works in pediatrics is called a pediatrician.
Pediatricians can be primary care doctors or they can be specialists.
Pediatricians take care of diseases that children get. They also make sure that children develop normally and try to prevent illness. One of the most important ways that children's diseases can be prevented is by immunization. Immunization is also called vaccination.
In the nineteenth century, one in five children died before the age of five. Most of these deaths were from infectious diseases. Today some of these deaths are prevented by treating disease when it happens. Most of it is from preventing disease with immunizations.
Pediatricians also try to prevent other diseases and injury before they happen. They teach parents about safety and nutrition. They may teach older children or adolescents about avoiding injury or addiction to alcohol and tobacco. Because childhood is such a time of change, prevention is a major part of pediatrics.