Ear Exam with Otoscope

An otoscope is a hand-held instrument with a tiny light and a cone-shaped attachment called an ear speculum. It is used to examine the ear canal.

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education consists of activities and/or experiences that are intended to effect developmental changes in children prior to their entry into elementary school.

Edwards' Syndrome

Edwards' syndrome is caused by an extra (third) copy of chromosome 18. The extra chromosome is lethal for most babies born with this condition.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

The Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) refers to a group of inherited disorders that affect collagen structure and function. Genetic abnormalities in the manufacturing of collagen within the body affect connective tissues, causing them to be abnormally weak.

Electric Shock Injuries

Electric shock injuries are caused by lightning or electric current passing through the body. In infants, electric shock injuries occur most often when they put metal objects in their mouths.


An electroencephalogram (EEG), also called a brain wave test, is a diagnostic test which measures the electrical activity of the brain (brain waves) using highly sensitive recording equipment attached to the scalp by fine electrodes.

Electronic Fetal Monitoring

Electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) involves the use of an electronic fetal heart rate (FHR) monitor to record the baby's heart rate. Elastic belts are used to hold sensors against the pregnant woman's abdomen.

Elimination Diet

An elimination diet is the systematic elimination of foods or group of foods from the diet suspected in causing a food allergy. It is used as a means to diagnose an allergic reaction to foods.


Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, usually caused by a direct viral infection or a hypersensitivity reaction to a virus or foreign protein. Brain inflammation caused by a bacterial infection is sometimes called cerebritis.


Encopresis is defined as repeated involuntary defecation somewhere other than a toilet by a child age four or older that continues for at least one month.

Enterobacterial Infections

Enterobacterial infections are disorders of the digestive tract and other organ systems produced by a group of rod-shaped bacteria called Enterobacteriaceae.

Eosinophilic Gastroenteropathies

Eosinophilic gastroenteropathies are gastrointestinal (GI) diseases (enteropathies) in which one or more layers of the GI tract (most commonly the stomach and small intestine) are selectively infiltrated with a type of white blood cell called eosinophils, as part of an allergic response.


Epiglottitis is an infection of the epiglottis, which can lead to severe airway obstruction.

Erythroblastosis Fetalis

Erythroblastosis fetalis, also known as hemolytic disease of the newborn or immune hydrops fetalis, is a disease in the fetus or newborn caused by transplacental transmission of maternal antibody, usually resulting from maternal and fetal blood group incompatibility. Rh incompatibility may develop when a woman with Rh-negative blood becomes pregnant by a man with Rh-positive blood and conceives a fetus with Rh-positive blood.


Erythromycins, also called macrolides, are a group of antibiotics, medicines that kill bacteria or prevent their growth.

Esophageal Atresia

Esophageal atresia (EA) is a birth defect (congenital anomaly) in which the esophagus, which connects the mouth to the stomach, is shortened and closed off (dead ended) at some point along its length. This defect almost always occurs in conjunction with tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), a condition in which the esophagus is improperly attached to the trachea, the "windpipe" that carries air into the lungs.


Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning the body. Exercise consists of cardiovascular conditioning, strength and resistance training, and flexibility.


Expectorants are drugs that loosen and clear mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tract.

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a procedure that uses an artificial heart-lung machine to take over the work of the lungs (and sometimes the heart). ECMO is used most often in newborns and young children, but it also can be used as a last resort for adults whose heart or lungs are failing.

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities are those sponsored by and usually held at school but that are not part of the academic curriculum. They often involve some time commitment outside of the regular school day.

Eye and Vision Development

The visual system is the most complex sensory system in the human body. However, it is the least mature system at birth.

Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses

Eyeglasses and contact lenses are devices that correct refractive errors in vision. Eyeglass lenses are mounted in frames that are worn on the face, sitting mostly on the ears and nose, so that the lenses are positioned in front of the eyes.

Failure to Thrive

Failure to thrive (FTT) is a term used to describe children whose physical growth over time is inadequate when compared to a standard growth chart.

Familial Mediterranean Fever

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an inherited disorder characterized by an inflammatory response recurring with attacks of fever accompanied by intense pain in the abdomen, chest, or joints. Attacks usually last 12–72 hours and can occasionally involve a skin rash.


A family is a group of two people or more related by marriage, blood relation, or adoption and who live together. The immediate family traditionally consists of parents and their offspring.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves all members of a nuclear family or stepfamily and, in some cases, members of the extended family (e.g., grandparents). A therapist or team of therapists conducts multiple sessions to help families deal with important issues that may interfere with the functioning of the family and the home environment.


Fear is an intense aversion to or apprehension of a person, place, activity, event, or object that causes emotional distress and often avoidance behavior. Fears are common in childhood.

Febrile Seizures

Febrile seizures are convulsions of sudden onset due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain that is caused by fever. Fever is a condition in which body temperature is elevated above normal (generally above 100.4°F [38°C]).

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a set of physical and mental birth defects that can result from a woman drinking alcohol during her pregnancy. The syndrome is characterized by brain damage, facial deformities, and growth deficits.

Fetal Hemoglobin Test

A fetal hemoglobin test (Hgb electrophoresis) measures the level of fetal hemoglobin (Hemoglobin F or HbF) in the blood of infants and children. It can also be measured in adults, though is more typically needed for diagnoses of congenital illnesses in children.


A fever is any body temperature elevation over 100.4°F (38°C).

Fever of Unknown Origin

Fever of unknown origin (FUO) refers to the presence of a documented elevation in body temperature for a specified time, for which a cause has not been found after basic medical evaluation. FUO is categorized as classic, hospital acquired FUO; FUO associated with low white blood cell counts (immunosuppression); and HIV-associated (AIDS-related) FUO.

Fifth Disease

Fifth disease is a mild childhood illness caused by the human parvovirus B19 that causes flu-like symptoms and a rash. It is called fifth disease because it was fifth on a list of common childhood illnesses that are accompanied by a rash, including measles, rubella (or German measles), scarlet fever (or scarlatina), and scarlatinella, a variant of scarlet fever.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills generally refer to the small movements of the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, toes, lips, and tongue.

Fingertip Injuries

Fingertip injuries include any wounds to the area at tip of the finger. They range from a simple bruise or scrape to having the fingertip taken off.

Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine protects a person against getting influenza, caused by the influenza virus. It is administered either by injection or by inhalation.


Fluoridation is the addition of fluoride to water supplies to help prevent tooth decay.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin belonging to the B-complex group of vitamins. These vitamins help the body break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars to be used for energy.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

A food allergy or sensitivity is a person's immune system reaction to eating a particular food.

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning refers to illness arising from eating contaminated food. Food may be contaminated by bacteria, viruses, environmental toxins, or toxins present within the food itself, such as the poisons in some mushrooms or seafood.

Foreign Objects

Foreign bodies can enter the human body by swallowing, insertion, or traumatic force, either accidentally or on purpose.

Foster Care

Foster care is full-time substitute care of children outside their own home by people other than their biological or adoptive parents or legal guardians.


A fracture is a complete or incomplete break in a bone resulting from the application of excessive force.

Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition involving changes in the long arm of the X chromosome, is the most common form of inherited mental retardation. Individuals with this condition have developmental delay, variable levels of mental retardation, and behavioral and emotional difficulties.

Friedreich's Ataxia

Friedreich's ataxia (FA) is an inherited, progressive nervous system disorder causing loss of balance and coordination, speech problems, and heart disease.

Frostbite and Frostnip

Frostbite is damage to the skin and other tissues caused by freezing. Frostnip is a mild form of this cold injury.