About Bright Futures
Pedicases is the web site for the dissemination of the Bright Futures Center for Pediatric Education, Growth and Behavior in Adolescent Health. This site contains more than 30 self-contained educational modules, covering important topics in child growth, development, behavior, and adolescent health. The materials have been written and edited by faculty from Children’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School. They have been reviewed by nationally recognized experts, and pilot-tested and evaluated in pediatric residency programs across the U.S. These materials are freely available to help healthcare educators worldwide.
As children grow and develop, child health providers can assist them by developing close partnerships with their families, schools and communities. Bright Futures is a series of materials that help clinicians establish those partnerships and carry out health promotion activities for children and adolescents. The cornerstone document, Bright Futures: Health Supervision for Infants, Children and Adolescents, is now in its second edition. It brings together the most recent information on disease prevention and health promotion for the whole spectrum of youngsters from birth to young adulthood.
Bright Futures’ tools allow clinicians to take a developmental perspective in their care of children. The suggestions for each Bright Futures encounter are based on knowledge of child development and of the way in which family and community factors intersect with children’s development in order to bolster children as they grow. Interview questions are outlined for each age period to help clinicians bring up topics of relevance to families as their children enter each new developmental stage. Information on useful anticipatory guidance helps providers and families consider what will be happening next in their children’s lives as they grow. Nutritional information is provided to ensure that families have access to the latest information about fostering healthy growth. In addition, Bright Futures materials underscore the importance of fitness and exercise as they relate to the well being of children and adolescents.
Screening is a critical component of health supervision. The screening schedule presented in Bright Futures incorporates the guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Bright Futures also outlines the immunization schedule.
Bright Futures materials produce the best results when parents and clinicians work as partners. A number of tools are available to assist with creating a common frame of reference and language for families and health care providers. In addition, a series of training modules has been developed to assist clinicians in working in this partnership mode.
Bright Futures embodies in it an educational approach for clinicians and families. Through the Bright Futures materials and activities there are many opportunities for education. It is appropriate, therefore, that these Teaching Case Studies and the website
www.pedicases.org are companions to the other Bright Futures training materials.
Judith S. Palfrey, MD
Building Bright Futures