2.1 Explain how children and young people’s development is influenced by a range of personal factors.
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Personal Factors
If a mother drinks heavily during pregnancy the alcohol she consumes will passed across the placenta and into the Foetus via the bloodstream, as the foetus’s organs are not fully formed so the liver is unable to process the alcohol making the unborn child have a extremely high alcohol concentration in its bloodstream, the knock on effect of this is that the foetus’s brain will lack oxygen and nutrients for it to grow properly. Also another factor of this syndrome is that mothers who are drinking early in the pregnancy also risk that the baby’s facial features will be deformed. Other symptoms of this syndrome may not become apparent until after the child is born and starts to grow, some of the symptoms are as follows: learning difficulties, problems with speech, poor short term memory, poor attention span, poor coordination and failure to thrive.
Each child with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is different and I would need to be patient and sensitive in my approach to care, I would need to attend relevant training and also work closely with health care professionals, Social workers and teachers. I would also need to be very aware of the difference between chronological age and mental age when choosing activities and organizing routines and boundaries.
Premature Birth Personal Factors
Premature birth is a baby that is born before 37 weeks gestation, there are many reasons why a baby can be born prematurely such as Pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure, maternal diabetes, placental abruption, drug taking and infections. These babies are normally kept a neonatal unit where they can be monitored closely. Premature babies are very small and have a low birth weight, they may have jaundice and suffer from respiratory problems and have little resistance to infections.
In caring for a premature baby I would ensure that they are kept warm, as they have not had time to build fat stores like full term babies. Some babies need to have an oxygen supply if they had experienced breathing difficulties, so I would ensure that a health care professional trained me in how to use this correctly. Also these babies are prone to infection so I would take care to maintain high standards of hygiene during the early months and years.
Downs Syndrome Personal Factors
Downs syndrome is a life long condition, babies born with this condition tend to be floppy and have very flexible joints. The characteristic signs of Down's syndrome are fairly easy to recognize soon after birth, whilst others may look and behave no differently from other babies. Downs Syndrome children will suffer with life long learning disabilities, and it will take these children longer to process information, to learn new things. They may also have speech or hearing difficulties. I would ensure in caring for a child that I sought the appropriate support from schools and specialists. Ensure that they integrated with the community, encourage movement and for them to explore and provide them with toys and activities, while letting them learn at their own pace. Ensure that I got support from an early intervention programme to provide support for the child and myself and family. Maternal Nutrition Personal Factors
A woman carrying a baby needs a healthy balanced diet in order for the baby to grow and receive the correct nutrients, if the mother has poor diet this can increase the risk of the baby being prematurely, small in size and suffering with breathing problems. If mothers don’t increase their folic acid in take via supplements or diet they also risk their child suffering from a birth defect known as a neural tube defect. Neural tube defects are problems with the development of the spinal cord and brain and can include spina bifida.
In caring for the...