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A Healthy Child - Essay Example

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A Healthy Child

Various development stages include bone thickness, weight, size of limbs, motor (gross and fine), hearing, vision, reflexes, facial expressions and perceptual development. Growth is rapid during the first few years of life. As each physical change occurs, the child gains new abilities. During the first year, physical development mainly involves the infant coordinating motor skills.
Infants since birth have certain reflexes or motor skills. Blinking eye is one such reflex. The presence of reflexes at birth is an indication of normal brain and nerve development. When normal reflexes are not present or if the reflexes continue past the time they should disappear, brain or nerve damage is suspected. The rooting reflex causes infants to face toward anything that brushes their faces while survival reflex helps them to find food such as a nipple.
For example, the Moro reflex or "startle response" occurs when a newborn is startled by a noise or sudden movement. The child moves his arms suddenly and starts crying. The Palmar grasp reflex is observed when the infant's palm is touched and when a rattle or another object is placed across the palm. The infant's hands will grip tightly. The Stepping or walking reflex can also be observed in normal full term babies. When the infant is held so that the feet are flat on a surface, the infant will lift one foot after another in a stepping motion. Given below is an expected pattern of systematic development of motor skills in an infant during first year of growth. (Source: Understanding Growth and Development Patterns of Infants by Novella J. Ruffin, June 2001)

Motor Behaviour Growth Sequence (Source: Sensory-Motor Integration and Learning, Rosemary BoonM.A. (Psych)

Age
Motor Behaviour
Hand-eye Coordination
1 Month
Preference to lying on back
Looks at object held directly in field of vision
Grasps reflexively if object is placed in hand
Eyes begin to coordinate
2-3 Months

When lying on stomach, can lift head to 45 degrees and extend legs
Follows object visually within a limited range
Looks at object but can only grasp by reflex
4 Months
Can roll from back to side
When lying on stomach, can lift head to 90degrees. Arms and legs are able to extend
Is able to sit propped about for around 10-15 minutes
Follows objects with eyes through 180 degrees
May touch or grasp an object when presented with it
Brings any object grasped to mouth
5-6 Months
Rolls from back to stomach
Will often 'bounce' when held in standing position
Can grasp small block using palmar grasp - there is little use of thumb and forefingers
Cannot pick up tiny objects, but may scratch at them
Sometimes holds own bottle with one or two hands
7-8 Months
Can lift feet to mouth when lying on back
Able to sit erect for a few minutes
Able to grasp a small block and may transfer it from hand to hand
9-10 Months
Creeps on hands and knees
Can sit indefinitely
Able to pull self to standing position and 'cruise' along table etc.
Often able to sit form the standing position
Pokes at objects with forefinger
Able to play 'pat-a-cake'
May uncover a toy they have seen hidden
11 Months
Actively pulls self to feet and 'cruises' along table
Will often stand momentarily without support
Able to walk if hand is held and may take a few tentative steps alone
Begins to use the pincer grasp on smaller ...Show more

Summary

It is well known that first few years of human being are most important years of life. Each child is different and may learn and grow at a different rate. However, if a child cannot do many of the skills listed for his or her age group, one should consult the paediatrician (National Network for Child Care - NNCC…
Author : hirthecoleman
A Healthy Child essay example
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