Role with respect to others; sexuality; future

Encouragement of identity to allow growth


Separation from family; toward real independence


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

—Benjamin Franklin

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

—Benjamin Franklin

The heart of pediatrics is health promotion. Pediatric health care clinicians dedicate substantial time to health supervision visits and health promotion activities. The sage saying above is particularly true for children and adolescents because prevention at a young age can result in improved health outcomes for many decades.

Several national and international organizations have identified guidelines for health promotion for children. Current concepts of health promotion include not only the detection and prevention of disease, but active promotion of the well-being of children and their families, spanning physical, cognitive, emotional, and social health.

Every interaction with a child and family is an opportunity for health promotion! From your interview questions to your detailed physical examination, think about your interactions as having two opportunities: the traditional detection of normality and medical problems, and the ability to promote health. What a priceless gift!

Key components of pediatric health promotion are shown below. Not every issue is relevant for each visit or age. Tailor your health promotion to the relevant developmental phase of your patient.

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