Paediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents, and the age limit usually ranges from birth up to 18. A medical practitioner who specializes in this area is known as a paediatrician.
The body size differences are paralleled by maturational changes. The smaller body of an infant or neonate is substantially different physiologically from that of an adult. Congenital defects, genetic variance, and developmental issues are of greater concern to pediatricians than they often are to adult physicians.
A major difference between pediatrics and adult medicine is that children are minors and cannot make decisions for themselves. In a sense, pediatricians often have to treat the parents and sometimes, the family, rather than just the child. Adolescents are in their own legal class, having rights to their own health care decisions in certain circumstances. In basic terms, pediatricians take care of all of the children's needs from emotional support to medical support.