Growth and Development

by bhamniecee
Last updated 9 years ago

Vocational & Technology

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Growth and Development

Influences on Growth and Development

HeredityEvery person has approximately 20,000 to 25,000 genes to determine traits, such as eye color and height. These genes also direct the growth and development of all body systems. Half of the genes come from the mother and half come from the father. It is normal for children to get five or six imperfect recessive genes passed on to them.In most cases, a single copy of a faulty recessive gene will have not effect on the baby's development. However, sometimes both parents will pass on the same faulty recessive gene. This causes the baby to have a birth defect. When this happens, it is called recessive inheritance. Two conditions caused by recessive inheritance are Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis.Sometimes a child will inherit a defective gene that is dominant. It is only necessary for this gene to be passed on by one parent for the child to have the resulting birth defect. This is called dominant inheritance. Huntington's disease, a birth defect that does not appear until middle age, is caused by dominant inheritance.Some inherited conditions only affect one gender. Hemophilia is a condition that prevents the blood from clotting. Like color blindness and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, hemophilia usually only affects males.

NutritionInfant and Newborn Nutrition Food provides the energy and nutrients that babies need to be healthy. For a baby, breast milk is best. It has all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Infant formulas are available for babies whose mothers are not able or decide not to breastfeed. Infants usually start eating solid foods between 4 and 6 months of age. Check with your health care provider for the best time for your baby to start. If you introduce one new food at a time, you will be able to identify any foods that cause allergies in your baby. Some foods to stay away from include eggs, honey, peanuts (including peanut butter) and other tree nuts.The body needs essential nutrients to grow and develop. Eating foods that contain these nutrients is vital to a child's lifelong health. Even newborns who spend most of their time sleeping are growing and developing. Proper nutrition fuels that development. Research has shown that nutrition affects many aspects of a baby's physical growth and development, including bone strength, brain development, and height. When a baby does not get enough calories or necessary nutrients, he or she is at risk for illness, delayed growth, or even death.

EnvironmentAn infant's experiences are an important part of development. Brain development, which impacts all areas of development, is linked to the quantity and variety of experiences a child has. Infancy is a critical period. Failure to achieve normal brain development at this stage can have lifelong effects. A stimulating environment promotes brain development. A stimulating environment is an environment in which the baby has a wide variety of things to see, taste, smell, hear, and touch. A world with plenty of ways to use all the senses provides wonderful opportunities for an infant. While investigating their world, all that they experience is stored in the brain. As associations form, such as the high chair means food, more brain connections are made.An environment lacking in stimulation can result in fewer or weaker connections in the brain and delayed or slow development in other areas. For example, infants are not born with language skills. During the first few months of life, connections form in the part of the brain responsible for language. This eventually allows the child to begin speaking. If the child is not exposed to language and not encouraged to speak during this time, there will be fewer connections to the brain. This can delay normal language development.Other environmental factors can have a harmful impact on a child's development as well. For example, children who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to suffer from poor health. It increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Other possible health problems can include respiratory infections, ear infections, bronchitis, and asthma. These conditions can make it more difficult for a child to develop normally. They also increase the chances of lung cancer and heart disease later in life.

HealthStaying healthy is closely linked to other factors that influence growth and development. A baby who is healthy is more likely to eat well and have the energy to be active. A healthy baby is more likely to have varied experiences that stimulate the brain and aid in muscle development. An infant with poor health is at risk of falling behind developmentally.Parents and other caregivers must grard children's health. In addition to providing good nutrition, they must provide a safe environment. Children also need regular medical checkups and care.

Growth refers to changes in size, such as weight and length.

Development refers to increases and changes in physical, emotional, social, or intellectual skills.



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