Pediatrics is a medical specialty that deals with the study
of the health, diseases, disabilities, and treatments of
children during development, from birth through
adolescence (a period of life ranging from puberty to
adulthood). Puberty is the period of life (usually between
ages 11 and 13) in which the ability to reproduce begins.
In India and other developing countries, pediatric care
stops between 10 and 12, with children then being cared
for by doctors who care for adults.
Historically, Hippocrates (460-370 BC) devoted a great part of his treatise to children.
The first manuscript written on pediatrics dates back to the 2nd century AD (written by
Soranus of Ephesus in Greece). The first printed book on pediatrics was in Italian --
Bagallerderís Little Book on Diseases of Children. The first English book on pediatrics
was the Book of Children by Thomas Phaer (1545). The modern specialty of pediatrics
began in the mid-19th century. Pediatrics is commonly abbreviated as peds (pronounced
peeds). A doctor who studies and practices pediatrics is known as a pediatrician (also
written as paediatrician).
The word pediatric means pertaining to pediatrics. Pediatrics comes from the Greek word
"pais" meaning "child" and the Greek word "iatreia" meaning "medical specialty." Put the
two words together and you have "medical specialty (of) children."