Early Childhood Physical Development

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EARLY CHILDHOOD
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

GROWTH PATTERNS

* Height and Weight

What Changes Occur in Height and Weight
During Early Childhood?
* Growth rate slows
* 2 to 3 inches per year
* 4 to 6 pounds per year
* Individual variation
* As a group, boys are slightly taller and heavier

* Development of the Brain

How Does the Brain Develop During Early Childhood?
* Rapid growth in weight due to myelination
* By age 5 – brain is 90% of adult weight
* Visual Skills
* Improved attention and visual processing skills
Specialization of hemispheres

What Does It Mean to Be Left-brained or Right-brained?

* Left-brained
* Logical, problem solving, language and mathematical computations * Right-brained
* Visual-spatial functions, recognition of faces, discrimination of color, aesthetic and emotional responses, understanding metaphors, creative mathematical reasoning * Functions overlap
* Myelination of corpus callosum
Additional Comparison :
Right Brain| Left Brain|
Holistic, big-picture oriented| Linear, details oriented| Random processing oriented| Sequential or list oriented|
Concrete processing oriented| Symbolic processing oriented| Intuitive decision making| Logical decision making|
Non-verbal processing oriented| Verbal processing oriented| Fantasy-oriented| Reality-oriented|

MOTOR DEVELOPMENT

How Do Motor Skills Develop in Early Childhood?
* Gross motor skills
* Involve large muscles used in locomotion
* Differences in gross motor development
* Little sex differentiation
* More individual differences
* Physical Activity
* Rough and tumble play
* Activity levels

How Do Motor Skills Develop in Early Childhood?
* Fine motor skills
* Involve small muscles used in manipulation and coordination * Proximodistal trend accounts for lag in fine motor skills * Children’s Drawing

What is Handedness?
Handedness is a human attribute defined by unequal distribution of fine motor skills between the left and right hands. An individual who is more able with the right hand is called right-handed and one who is more skilled with the left is said to be left-handed. The majority of infants have developed hand preference by 6 months of age.[1] A minority of adult people are equally skilled with both hands, and are termed ambidextrous. It is one example of body laterality.

What Are the Origins of Handedness?
* Genetic component
* Seems to run in families
* Identical twins
* Frequently differ in handedness

When Does Handedness Emerge?
* Emerges and shows preference during infancy
* Becomes strongly established during early childhood
* Majority of people are right-handed

Are There Problems Connected With Being Left-handed?
* Connections have been made with
* Language problems
* Dyslexia and stuttering
* Health problems
* Migraine headaches and allergies
* Psychological problems
* Schizophrenia and depression
* Higher frequencies of left-handers have been made with
* Mathematical abilities
* Athletic abilities
* Artistic, musical and architectural

NUTRITION

What Are Children’s Nutritional Needs and Their Eating Habits Like in Early Childhood? * Nutritional Needs
* Need more overall calories than toddlers
* Slower growth rate - less calories per pound
* Patterns of Eating
* Appetite decreases and becomes erratic
* Preference for sugar and salt with exposure

HEALTH AND ILLNESSES

What Are Some of the Illnesses and Environmental Hazards Encountered During Early Childhood? * Minor illnesses
* Respiratory infections
* Colds, sore throat
* Gastrointestinal upsets
* Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
* In developing countries, diarrheal illness is...
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