The safety of children is potentially at risk from accidents and injuries, as well as crime. Providing a safe environment, putting prevention measures into practice, and teaching children methods of self-protection are all ways to reduce the potential for harm to children.

Salmonella Food Poisoning

Salmonella food poisoning is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation (swelling) of the lining of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis). The causative bacteria is called Salmonella.


A primary bone tumor originates in or near a bone. Most primary bone tumors are benign, and the cells that compose them do not spread (metastasize) to nearby tissue or to other parts of the body.

Savant Syndrome

Savant syndrome occurs when a person with below normal intelligence displays a special talent or ability in a specific area.


Scabies is a relatively contagious infection caused by a tiny mite called Sarcoptes scabiei.

Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is a rash that complicates a bacterial throat infection called strep throat.


Schizophrenia is a mental illness characterized by disordered thinking, delusions, hallucinations, emotional disturbance, and withdrawal from reality.

School Phobia/School Refusal

The term school phobia was first used in 1941 to identify children who fail to attend school because attendance causes emotional distress and anxiety. In Great Britain and as of the early 2000s in the United States, the term school refusal is preferred.


Scoliosis is a side-to-side curvature of the spine.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common inflammatory disease of the scalp and skin characterized by scaly lesions usually on the scalp, hairline, face and body. In infants, it is sometimes called cradle cap.

Security Objects

Security objects are items, usually soft and easily held or carried, that offer a young child comfort. They also are referred to as transitional objects, substitute objects, cuddlies, soothers, "loveys," and security blankets.

Seizure Disorder

A seizure is a sudden disruption of the brain's normal electrical activity accompanied by altered consciousness and/or other neurological and behavioral manifestations. Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain characterized by recurrent seizures that may include repetitive muscle jerking called convulsions.


Considered an important component of emotional health, self-esteem encompasses both self-confidence and self-acceptance. It is the way individuals perceive themselves and their self-value.


Self-mutilation, also called self-harm, self-injury or cutting, is the intentional destruction of tissue or alteration of the body done without the conscious wish to commit suicide, usually in an attempt to relieve tension.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is distress or agitation resulting from separation or fear of separation from a parent or caregiver to whom a child is attached.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is the most serious primary or congenital human immunodeficiency disorder. It is a group of congenital (present from birth) disorders in which the immune system does not work properly.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are viral and bacterial infections passed from one person to another through sexual contact.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a collective term for the internal head injuries a baby or young child sustains from being violently shaken.


Shigellosis is an infection of the intestinal tract by a group of bacteria called Shigella.


Shyness is a psychological state that causes a person to feel discomfort in social situations in ways that interfere with enjoyment or that cause avoidance of social contacts altogether.

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is antagonism between brothers and/or sisters that results in physical fighting, verbal hostility, teasing, or bullying.

Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell anemia, also called sickle cell disease (SS disease), is an inherited condition caused by having abnormal hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood. People with sickle cell anaemia have sickle hemoglobin (HbS) which is different from the normal hemoglobin (HbA).

Single-Parent Families

Single-parent families are families with children under age 18 headed by a parent who is widowed or divorced and not remarried, or by a parent who has never married.


Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, which are airspaces within the bones of the face. Sinusitis is most often due to an infection within these spaces.

Skeletal Development

Skeletal development refers to the development of the human skeletal system from the early days of pregnancy until the bones have reached full development in late puberty.


Sleep is a biological imperative critical to the maintenance of mental and physical health. It is a state of lessened consciousness and decreased physical activity during which the organism slows down and repairs itself.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are a group of syndromes characterized by disturbance in the individual's amount of sleep, quality or timing of sleep, or in behaviors or physiological conditions associated with sleep.

Smoke Inhalation

Smoke inhalation is breathing in the harmful gases, vapors, and particulate matter contained in smoke.


Smoking is the inhalation of the smoke of burning tobacco that is used mostly in three forms: cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.

Social Competence

Social competence is the condition of possessing the social, emotional, and intellectual skills and behaviors needed to succeed as a member of society.


Somnambulism is also known as sleepwalking. It is a common disorder among children that involves getting out of bed and moving about while still asleep.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is a painful inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the pharynx.


Spasticity is an abnormal increase in muscle tone. It may be associated with involuntary muscle spasms, sustained muscle contractions (dystonia), and exaggerated deep tendon reflexes that make movement difficult or uncontrollable.

Special Education

Special education refers to a range of educational and social services provided by the public school system and other educational institutions to individuals with disabilities who are between three and 21 years of age.

Specific Language Impairment

Specific language impairment (SLI) describes a condition of markedly delayed language development in the absence of any apparent handicapping conditions.

Speech Disorders

Speech disorders are characterized by a difficulty in producing normal speech patterns.

Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a birth abnormality in which the spine is malformed and lacks its usual protective skeletal and soft tissue coverings.

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function such as mobility or feeling. The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for a loss of function to occur.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal muscular atrophy is a term that describes a number of different conditions, all of which have in common the gradual deterioration of the voluntary muscles.


Sports are group games and individual activities involving physical activity and skills.

Sports Injuries

Sports injuries result from acute trauma or repetitive stress associated with athletic activities. Sports injuries can affect bones or soft tissue such as ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

Sprains and Strains

A sprain is damage to or tearing of ligaments or a joint capsule. A strain refers to damage to or tearing of a muscle.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales

The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale is a standardized test that assesses intelligence and cognitive abilities in children, beginning at age two, and in adults.

Staphylococcal Infections

Staphylococcal (staph) infections are communicable diseases caused by certain bacteria and generally characterized by the formation of abscesses. They are the leading cause of primary infections originating in hospitals in the United States.


Stealing is taking someone's property without permission. Very young children do not understand the concept of personal property.


A stepfamily is formed by the marriage or long-term cohabitation of two individuals, when one or both have at least one child from a previous relationship living part-time or full-time in the household. The individual who is not the biological parent of the child or children is referred to as the stepparent.

Stimulant Drugs

Stimulant drugs are drugs that excite the central nervous system.


Stomatitis is an inflammation of the mucous lining of the mouth, which may involve the cheeks, gums, tongue, lips, and roof or floor of the mouth. The word "stomatitis" literally means inflammation of the mouth.


Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not align in the same direction. It is also called crossed eyes or squint.

Stranger Anxiety

Stranger anxiety is fear or wariness of people with whom a child is not familiar.

Strep Throat

Streptococcal sore throat, or strep throat, as it is more commonly called, is a bacterial infection of the mucous membranes lining the throat or pharynx.

Streptococcal Infections

Streptococcal (strep) infections are communicable diseases that develop when bacteria of the family Streptococcus invade parts of the body and contaminate blood or tissue.


Stridor is a term used to describe noisy breathing in general and to refer specifically to a high-pitched crowing sound associated with croup, respiratory infection, and airway obstruction.


A stroke, also called a cerebral infarction, is a life-threatening condition marked by a sudden disruption in the blood supply to the brain.

Sturge-Weber Syndrome

Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) is a rare, congenital (present at birth), noninherited disorder characterized by the vascular malformation (birthmark) called a port wine stain, usually seen on an infant's face. Sturge-Weber also is characterized by neurological abnormalities including seizures, weakness on one side of the body, developmental delay, and glaucoma (increased pressure within the eye).


Stuttering is a speech problem characterized by repetitions; pauses; or drawn-out syllables, words, and phrases. Stutterers are different than people experiencing normal fluency problems because a stutterer's disfluency is more severe and consistent than that of people who do not stutter.

Styes and Chalazia

Styes and chalazia are infections and inflammations of the tiny oil glands on the eyelids. A sty, or external hordeolum, is a common childhood infection of an oil gland on the surface of the upper or lower eyelids at the base of the eyelash.

Subdural Hematoma

A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood in the space between the outer and middle layers of the covering of the brain. It is most often caused by torn, bleeding veins as a result of a head trauma.

Substance Abuse and Dependence

Substance abuse is a pattern of behavior that displays many adverse results from continual use of a substance. Substance dependence is a group of behavioral and physiological symptoms that indicate the continual, compulsive use of a substance in self-administered doses despite the problems related to the use of the substance.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexpected death of a seemingly normal, healthy infant under one year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough postmortem investigation, including an autopsy and a review of the case history.

Suicide and Suicidal Behavior

Suicide is the act of ending one's own life. Suicidal behavior are thoughts or tendencies that put a person at risk for committing suicide.


Sulfonamides, sometimes called sulfa drugs, are medicines that prevent the growth of bacteria in the body. The sulfonamides have largely been replaced by the antibiotics which generally are safer and more effective.


Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.


Sunscreens are products applied to the skin to protect against the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Sweat Test

A sweat test, sometimes called a sweat chloride test, is a procedure used to measure the amount of sodium and/or chloride (salt) excreted by a person's sweat glands.