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Pediatrics Glossary

A glossary of commonly used terms in pediatrics and parenting, such as NICU, thimerosal, AAP, SIDS, OSA, LATCH, VCUG, etc. so that you can understand what your pediatrician is talking about if he or she commonly uses medical terminology.
  1. Misspellings (17)

The AAP or American Academy of Pediatrics is a professional 'organization of 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.'

Acetaminophen and Tylenol
Acetaminophen is the main ingredient in Tylenol and some other pain and fever reducers for children and adults.

Adrenarche is the onset of androgen dependent signs of puberty in boys or girls, including pubic hair, axillary hair, acne, and adult body odor.

Apgar Score
The Apgar score is a standardized method for evaluating a newborn's health once they are born and was designed by Dr. Virginia Apgar in 1952.

BMI is an abbreviation for body mass index, and is calculated with a child's height and weight using a simple formula, and can be used to determine if a child is overweight, underweight, or at a healthy weight.

BPA and Baby Bottles
The use of BPA has become controversial, as there is a concern that BPA can leach out plastic and into baby formula, juice, food, and other substances inside plastic containers made with BPA.

c. diff
C. diff is the short hand way of talking about the Clostridium difficile bacteria which can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Dry Drowning
Learn about dry drowning and delayed drowning, including what symptoms to watch for if you think that your child may be at risk.

Dyscalculia is a type of learning disability in which children have problems with math.

Dysgraphia is a type of learning disability in which children have problems with writing, including handwriting and spelling.

Dyspraxia is a type of learning disability in which children have problems with motor skill development, especially fine motor skills.

ECI or early childhood intervention programs are federally funded state programs that help infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children with developmental delays and disability get therapy.

Erb's Palsy
Erb's Palsy is a form of Brachial Plexus injury, which is often caused by an injury to the nerves that controls the movement and feeling of the shoulder, arm, and hand.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 'the FAAP designation after a pediatrician's name stands for Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatricians who maintain their FAAP designation have obtained board certification in pediatrics and made an ongoing commitment to lifelong learning and advocacy for children.'

Flu Season - From Start to Peak and End
Although flu season is usually thought of as occurring in the winter, the severity and timing of the start and peak of flu season actually varies from year-to-year. Review when you can expect cold and flu season to start, so you can be sure to get your kids a flu shot to get them protected from the flu.

A fundoplication is a surgical procedure in which the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower part of the esophagus. This prevents the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus and out of a child's mouth.

GBS is an abbreviation for the Group B streptococcus bacteria, which according to the CDC 'is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns.'

The GFCF diet (gluten-free casein-free diet) is advocated by some parents as an alternative treatment for children with autism.

An hemangioma, commonly called a strawberry or strawberry hemangioma by parents, is a type of vascular birthmark that typically appear in the first few weeks after a baby is born, can grow rapidly during an infant's first year of life, and then typically go away by the time the child is 5 to 8 years old.

Herd Immunity
Because of herd immunity, vaccines that children get can protect other people who aren't immune from vaccine preventable infections, either because they don't get vaccinated, their vaccine wasn't effective, or because they have become immunocompromised.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener that is used in soft drinks, breakfast cereals, cookies, snacks and many other baked goods.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a fairly common heart problem, occurring in 1 in every 500 people, and is a common cause of sudden death in young athletes.

Incubation Period
The incubation period is the amount of time, usually days to weeks, between when a person is first exposed to a contagious disease, like strep throat or the flu, to when they develop symptoms of the infection.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a common cause of chronic abdominal pain in children, especially older children and teens.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is arthritis that occurs in children and teens. Like arthritis in adults, common symptoms of JRA can include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and swelling.

Kawasaki Disease
Kawasaki disease is a complex childhood illness that mainly affects young children under age five. Although not well known by parents, it is actually one of the leading causes of acquired heart disease in children.

Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is a specialized diet that is sometimes used as a treatment for young children with epilepsy who continue to have seizures despite taking traditional or standard anticonvulsant medications.

LATCH refers to the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children system, which according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 'is designed to make installation of child safety seats easier by requiring child safety seats to be installed without using the vehicle's seat belt system.'

Lymphadenopathy or Enlarged Lymph Nodes in Kids
Children can have lymphadenopathy, abnormally enlarged lymph nodes, as a part of many infections and other conditions.

An MDI (metered dose inhaler) is a pressured canister that contains a child's asthma medicine.

Melamine is a chemical that is used in making many products that we use everyday, but can have devastating effects when it gets in food, as was seen in recent baby food and pet food recalls.

Menarche is the onset of menstruation or the first period in girls during puberty.

Mercuritol is a make-believe or fictional substance that the lawyer in the legal TV drama "Eli Stone" says has caused the title character's son to have autism. It may be confused with thimerosal by some parents.

MRSA is an abbreviation for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that has become resistant to many antibiotics, including methicillin, penicillin, amoxicillin, and cephalosporins.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a rare form of child abuse in which a caregiver makes up symptoms and signs so as to make it appear that their child is sick.

A nebulizer, which is more commonly known as a "breathing machine" by parents, includes an air compressor to deliver an aerosolized breathing treatment to your child with asthma.

The NICU is also known as a neonatal intensive care unit and is the area of a hospital where sick babies, especially if they are premature, go once they are born.

Nutritional Rickets
Rickets is a condition that develops in children who do not have enough vitamin D in their diet, which leads to their having bones that don't mineralize properly — they have weak bones.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy (OT) refers to therapy that helps children perform everyday skills and activities.

OSA is an acronym for obstructive sleep apnea, which is a common problem in children, and is increasing being recognized as a cause of daytime attentional and behavioral problems.

PANDAS is an acronym for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections. It describes children who develop the sudden worsening of tics, obsessive/compulsive type behavior, or irritability following a strep infection, such as scarlet fever or strep throat.

Pediatrics is a primary care medical specialty that focuses on the care of infants, children, and teenagers

Physical Therapy
Physical therapy (PT) refers to therapy that helps children that have problems with balance, coordination, muscle strength, and gross motor skills.

RAD is an acronym for reactive airway disease. It is term often used to describe younger children, especially infants and toddlers, who have recurrent episodes of coughing and wheezing.

Reye's Syndrome
Reye's syndrome is a rare condition that has been linked to viral infections and aspirin.

RSV is an acronym for the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a common cause of colds and bronchiolitis for infants and children.

SIDS is an acronym for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which refers to the unexplained death of a child under one year of age.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which is an indication of how much protection a sunscreen offers against UVB rays and sunburn.

Stomach Flu
The stomach flu is actually not related to the flu, but can be caused by other viruses including rotavirus, which often includes symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and stomach cramps.

Sun Poisoning
Sun poisoning is a non-medical term for severe sunburn.

A T&A refers to a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, common pediatric surgical procedures in which a child's enlarged tonsils and adenoids are removed.

Thelarche is the onset of breast development in girls during puberty.

Thimerosal is a mercury containing preservative that was commonly found in vaccines since the 1930s. Although no link to autism or other conditions was ever found, because of concerns that thimerosal could be harmful and because alternatives to thimerosal were now available, according to the FDA, 'thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine.'

Tucker Sling
The Tucker Sling is a medical device that helps keep babies and infants who have acid reflux positioned in an upright position, minimizing their chances of spitting up.

A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) refers to an infection that involves the kidney (pyelonephritis), bladder (cystitis) or asymptomatic bacteriuria, when children have bacteria in their urine but no symptoms.

A VCUG or voiding cystourethrogram, along with a renal sonogram, is a test that is commonly done after a child has a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia, a type of atypical pneumonia, is caused by the Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria.

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