In the United States of America there has been exponential growth in spending on health care and tops the list of rapidly growing sectors in the economy (Jarvis, 2012). These costs can be attributed to neo-natal intensive care units and a large number of low birth weight infants. Recent advancements in medicine have led to more knowledge in infant care. Children normally relate with their surroundings in each stage of their development. They acquire different skills as they grow. Nutrition and socio-cultural practices of different regions and races, determine the rate of development. The process of child development is complex as each child shows unique pattern of maturity at different ages(Jarvis, 2012). The cognitive and sensory ability, physical size, psychosocial patterns often undergo massive transformations and thus nurses should be able to study and comprehend normal patterns in development to enable them perform pediatric examinations, and comfortably identify children who show abnormal or slow development. School going children usually learn the basics of communication and say when they are sick or feel bad. The parent or daycare providers manage the health of children and most of things they do daily are often directed by them(Piaget, 1972).
Assessment of Various Stages of Development of a child
Preschoolers are often interested about their body and how it functions and normally at this stage they will be able to say when they are not feeling well or they are in pain. It is at this stage that most children start to understand their bodies, and may have an accurate idea of their external organs such as hands, legs etc. and some internal organs such as bones and heart. Children, who have commenced their classes in schools, are conscious of how their bodies’ function and tell when they are feeling sick. The school age children have a well-developed cognitive ability and are fully aware of their health, disease causing factors and appreciate the need for medical examinations. Parent’s inadequate knowledge may be a cause in poor health of the child e.g. neglected teeth usually develops cavities (Perry et.al, 2013). School going children are at a constant risk from prolonged exposures to environmental hazards but their size and age can trigger senses of fear and vulnerability. Lack of timely immunization exercises to preschoolers, can result into risks of infection and their growth process exposes them to constant illnesses and injuries (Santrock, 2003). Toddlers often experience difficulties in chewing food and swallowing and potential food allergies may develop. Preschoolers and school going children may often eat junk food which may lead to obesity and other metabolic disorders since most of their parents are busy and may not find enough time to direct their nutrition. Underweight children are as a result of poverty and other unhealthy cultural practices where access to food is limited(Perry et.al, 2013).
Punishing or teasing a child could affect them emotionally and may lead them to always be dependent on the parent. While the toddlers are playing, they risk getting unintentional injuries through handling tasks that are beyond their abilities. Due to constant exploring their new and expanding environment, children may often encounter injuries such as poisoning or drowning. School aged children are often physically and naturally active and too much play or watching non-educative televisions, lead to decreased learning. As a child progresses from an infant or a toddler to preschool then to school age, they often encounter a variety of challenges. Influence of a child’s peers and parents often adds up pressure on their lives and as a result affects developmental growth (Piaget, 1972). The existing social-cultural, religion and belief system enables a child to develop as unique individual. A toddler and a preschool child often need a more structured routine to be able to develop values and behaviors and grow their own sense of identity. Continuous learning will enable the child to develop good behaviors as they grow into adulthood.
Jarvis Carolyn, 2012. Physical Examination and Health Assessment, 6th Edition. Saunders.VitalBook file. Pages 23-26, 96-106.
Perry E. Shannon, Hockenberry Marylin J., Lowdermilk D., Wilson David, (2013). Maternal Child Nursing Care. Elsevier Health Sciences, 5th Edition, Page 14-37.
Piaget, J., (1972). The Child’s Conception of the world. Tutowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams Co. pages 111-113.
Santrock, J. (2003). Life-span Development. 9th Edition. Boston: McGraw Hill. Pages 70-79.