The Play Years: Biosocial
BODY GROWTH IN EARLY
Changes in Body Size and Proportions
2 to 3 inches in height and about 5 pounds in weight are added each year.
Child gradually becomes thinner
Girls retain somewhat more body fat--boys are slightly more muscular.
Posture and balance improve, resulting in gains in motor coordination.
By the end of the preschool years, children start to lose their primary teeth.
Physical growth is an asynchronous process: different body systems have their own timed patterns of maturation.
The brain continues to grow, increasing from 70 percent of its adult weight at age 2 to 90 percent by age 6.
- AFFECTING PHYSICAL GROWTH
- AND HEALTH IN EARLY CHILDHOOD
Hereditary and Hormonal Influences
Physical size and rate of growth are related to parents'--genetics
Growth hormone (GH) affects the development of almost all body tissues, except the central nervous system and the genitals.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) stimulates release of thyroxine- necessary for normal brain development and body growth.
Preschoolers with very stressful home lives suffer more respiratory and intestinal illnesses as well as unintentional injuries.
Deprivation dwarfism: caused by emotional deprivation.
Environmental factor that influences growth most strongly: Nutrition
Preschoolers' appetites decrease because growth has slowed.
They become picky eaters -- adaptive: they are still learning which items are safe to eate and which are not.
Because caloric intake is reduced, preschoolers need a high-quality diet.
Emotional climate at mealtimes has a powerful impact on children's eating habits.
Insufficient amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A are the most common diet deficiencies fo the preschool years.
By age 7, low-income children in the US are, on the average, about 1 inch shorter than their middle-class counterparts.
Children are able to regulate their own diets. Individual meals are generally inconsistant, but their daily intake is generally consistant.
In well-nourished children, ordinary childhood illnesses have no effect on physical growth.
Illness reduces appetite and limits the body's ability to absorb foods; outcomes are especialy severe for children with intestinal infections.
Public education programs directed at increasing parental knowledge about the importance of timely immunizations are badly needed.
Auto accidents, fires, and drownings are the most common injuries during early childhood.
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among children over 1 year of age.
Factors related to childhood injuries
Risk-taking -- especially boys
Irritability, inattentiveness, and negative mood
Poverty and low parental education are strongly associated with injury deaths.
Preventing Childhood Injuries
Childhood injuries can be reduced through legislation improvement of the physical environment and public education.