Unit 18 Level 3 Childcare

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Unit 18
E1: Summarise the factors which may influence the health and development of babies in the first year of their lives.

Drugs;
Drugs can have a very big effect on your baby, whether they are medical or recreational both can harm your unborn child. The drugs that you put into your body will pass through the placenta and into the blood system of the baby, therefore damaging the still developing nervous system of the child. If a woman is pregnant and they have been subscribed medical drugs by the doctor they need to make sure that the doctor is informed that they are pregnant so that the medicine they are taking is not harmful to the child. With recreational drugs all should be avoided during pregnancy as they will harm the child, one drug that can have a massive effect on the baby is heroin. Using heroin during pregnancy cannot only increase the chance of premature birth, low birth weight, breathing difficulties etc. also children can be born addicted to heroin so when they are born they can often have seizures due to craving the heroin.

Diet;
When pregnant, for a mother to have a healthy diet is essential to the baby’s development and growth. Any food that the mother eat passes through the placenta and goes into the baby’s system so obviously for a mother to eat healthily is incredibly important. Also some studies have suggested that when mothers do eat a lot of junk food this can cause the child to have an addiction to junk food as they grow older, leading to the increase of obese children. It is best to get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, but when you're pregnant you need to take some supplements such as folic acid and vitamin D tablets to make sure you get everything you need.

Infections;
Infections such as Rubella when you are pregnant can harm your child within the first four months of your pregnancy ‘If you catch rubella (German measles) in the first four months of pregnancy it can seriously affect your baby's sight and hearing, as well as causing brain and heart defects’ (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-infections.aspx). Another infection that can harm the baby is Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver; this can be a sexually transmitted disease or can occur if you come in direct contact with infected blood. It is proven that it can harm the baby throughout pregnancy or when the child is born. When the child is born they are given an injection to immunise them from the infection. Immunisation at birth is 90-95% effective in preventing babies developing long-term hepatitis B infection.

Smoking;
Cigarettes can restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby, so their heart has to beat harder every time the mother has a cigarette. By mothers smoking during pregnancy this can cause the baby to be born premature so they are not fully developed, they can be born very small and underweight due to not receiving enough oxygen to grow. Other effects that smoking can have on the child are the baby being still born or having a higher increase in the chance of cot death. Mothers can get lots of different help ranging from there doctors, online help, group meetings to help them stop smoking, if not forever then especially during pregnancy.

E2: Describe how indoor and outdoor environments for babies can be made safe, reassuring and stimulating.

As a practitioner it is important to understand the effects of planning a challenging environment for children. Practitioners should consider the policies and procedures, children's rights i.e. the type of setting, resources, health and safety, supervision and to make sure the activities are age appropriate for the children. When preparing the activities for children you should ensure that they follow all policies and procedures within the setting e.g. ensuring the child to staff ratio is correct for both protection of the children and the staff. All activities need to be suited to every child's...
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