Children of different ages

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It is important to have a different approach for different ages - obviously a baby, that can't talk and suffers from totally different problems from a surly 19 year old should be dealt with differently. The following are rough definitions and guides to treatment.



Just been born, and you are dealing with a post partum (post birth) problem. You have to take a birth history, and you have zero patient history to fall back on. Focus on prenatal scans, mothers health and pregnancy, and finally, examination.


Anything that can't talk, pretty much (0-2 years). Still can't get any information off the patient - but parents and carers are very useful. Birth history, immunisations, developmental history and paediatric social history are most helpful here.


Walking and talking but not at school (2-4 years). Mostly the same as babies, but the patient can contribute; especially in reporting pain, although their localisation is generally unhelpful. Birth history because less helpful, but still worth asking in some cases.

School age

At school, but pre puberty (4-12ish years). School performance and developmental milestones important. Patients can be useful in histories. Onset of puberty issues can be raised here but most common in teenage.


Grumpy, spotty and able to get pregnant (12ish - adulthood). Key area is puberty and sex stuff here. Growth irregularities will be due to puberty generally here, whereas earlier age groups can be other hormones. Most other stuff affecting teenagers will be dealth with by other specialities.