Different Aspects of Child Physical Development
The growth study of child is popularly known as anthropometry. Child physical development includes the physical growth in and stature and weight that occur over the fifteen to twenty years of period, following the child’s birth.
On average, a baby weighs 3.5 kilograms and measures 50 cm in length at birth. In the coming years the child will go on to reach its full adult size.
Child physical development also involves change in body proportion, along with the natural gain in height and weight. Factors and events during prenatal life have a great influence on physical development of the child.
Boys and girls have similar growth rate until they reach the adolescence state, after which the boys become taller and weigh more.
The growth charts help to evaluate proper growth of children by providing averages under different variable conditions.
First Stage of Child Physical Development
In the earlier stages of life, few complicated child physical development process takes place, other than increasing of size and mass.
The fontanels in the baby’s skull hardens, new teeth erupt, the legs gets fit to carry body weight and skill to walk, the tongue learns to speak and the hands learn to perform various tasks.
The growth of a child is not only complicated, but also the fastest in infancy. There is incredible change in size, while the body proportion changes from top heavy to more balance shape, which resembles an adult.
The child physical development in infancy is significant for motor coordination, balance and physical dexterity. Development is also seen in the eye, ear and other sense organs which enable the child to see, hear and respond more accurately than before.
Growth and Development in Childhood
After early childhood, children on average grow 8 cm in height and gain 2 kg of weight annually, with variation depending on other influencing factors. By the age of six years, children are taller, slimmer, heavier and less top-heavy.
Child physical development is much slower in middle childhood when compared to the other stages. The child becomes slimmer as there is more muscular growth which helps in physical activities and skills that require greater strength, endurance and precision.
Changes in Physical Appearance during Puberty
Puberty is another complicated stage of child physical development. During this period, the sex organs develop and give distinct body shape to boys and girls.
Development of breasts in girls, development of pubic hair in both genders, growth of facial hair and deepening of voice in boys are few of the changes that indicates maturation and adult appearance of the body.
Child physical development is an indicator of the child’s health, as it is affected by nutritional deficiencies, infections and emotional state. Growth can be enhanced externally by providing proper nutrition, exercise and good environment for the child to grow happily. The growth that has been stunted can resume when the nutritional deficiency is remedied.
Parents are very eager to monitor their child’s development, because, the milestones when achieved gives them a feeling of being successful in their duty. To be assured that the child is growing along the normal pattern, parents often compare their children with their peer group.
Unfortunately, normal is just a relative term. Every child has its own unique genetic coding which allows the child physical development to take place at its own pace. Some individuals have steady growth throughout their childhood where as many others may have rapid growths intermittently.