Chapter 8 - Physical Development in Preschoolers
Chapter 8 - Physical Development in Preschoolers HD 1004
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jess on Friday October 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HD 1004 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Katarina Krizova (Doctoral Student) in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Human Development I in Human Development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
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Date Created: 10/14/16
Physical Development in Preschoolers- Chapter 8 The Growing Body Two years of age and the average child weighs 25 to 35 lbs. They are close to 36 inches tall. They are about half the height of an average adult. Grow steadily during preschool period, and by age 6 are about 46 inches and 46 lbs. Individual Differences in Height and Weight 10% of 6 year olds weigh 55 lbs or more, and 10% weigh 36 lbs or less. Average differences in height and weight between boys and girls increase during the preschool years. At the age of 2 the differences are relatively small, during preschool years boys become taller and heavier. Global economies affect averages. There is better nutrition in developed countries and this translates into differences in health and growth. Economic factors also take a role. Changes in Body Shape and Structure During preschool years children become less chubby and roundish and more slender. They begin to burn off some of the fat they have carried from their infancy, and they no longer have a pot-bellied appearance. Their arms and legs lengthen and the size relationship between the head and the rest of the body becomes more adult-like. By age 6, their proportions are similar to those of adults. They grow stronger as their muscle size increases and their bone become sturdier. The sense organs continue their development. The Eustachian tube in the ear, carries sounds from the external to the internal part of the ear, moves from a position that is almost parallel to the ground at birth to a more angular position. The Growing Brain Brain grows at a faster rate than any other part of the body. 2 year olds have brains that are about ¾ the size/weight of an adult. By age 5, the brain is 90% the adult brain. Growth Factors: An increase in the number of interconnections among cells allow for more complex communication between neurons, and they permit the rapid growth of cognitive skills. The amount of myelin increases which speeds the transmission of electrical impulses along brain cells but also adds to brain weight. By end of preschool period, the corpus callosum becomes thicker. Brain Lateralization: The two halves of the brain become differentiated and specialized. Lateralization is the process in which certain functions are located more in one hemisphere than in the other. It becomes more pronounced in preschool years. The left hemisphere is primarily involved with tasks involving verbal competence (speaking, reading, thinking, and reasoning). The right hemisphere specializes in nonverbal areas such as comprehension of spatial relationships, recognition of patterns and drawings, music, and emotional expression. In most cases, the hemispheres work in tandem. The Links between Brain Growth and Cognitive and Sensory Development Cognitive Development: Periods during childhood in which the brain shows unusual growth spurts, and these periods are linked to advances in cognitive abilities. Increases in myelin may be related to preschooler’s growing cognitive capabilities. Improvement in memory may be associated with myelination which is completed in the hippocampus. Sensory Development: The overall increased development of the brain allows an increase in the senses. Brain maturation leads to better control of eye movements and focusing. Pre-school age children also begin a gradual shift in the way they view objects made up of multiple parts. They do not look at a figure in terms of its overall organization and its parts until age 7 or 8. Preschoolers’ judgements of objects may reflect the way in which their eyes move when perceiving figures. Until age 3 or 4 they devote most of their looking to the insides of 2-D objects they are scanning, concentrating on the internal details and largely ignoring the perimeter of the figure. At age 4 and 5 they begin to look more at the surrounding boundaries of the figure and at age 6 and 7 they look at the outside systematically, with far less scanning of the inside. Auditory acuity improves as well, but not as significant as vision. They do have a deficit in their ability to isolate specific sounds when many sound are heard simultaneously. This can account for why they are easily distracted in group situations. Sleep As many as 20 to 30% of preschoolers have difficulties lasting more than an hour of falling asleep. And they wake up in the middle of the night calling for their parents. Between 10-50% of children ages 3-5 have nightmares (higher in boys than girls). Nightmares are vivid bad dreams, usually occurring toward morning. Night terrors produce intense physiological arousal and cause a child to wake up in an intense state of panic. They occur in 1-5% of children. Nutrition Preschoolers need less food to maintain their growth because rate of growth is slower. Some children’s food consumption can lead to obesity, which is body weight more than 20% above the average weight for a person. Iron deficiency anemia causes chronic fatigue and is one of the prevalent nutritional problems in developed countries. Illness Minor illnesses- Average preschooler has 7-10 minor colds and illnesses in each of the years from age 3-5. Such minor illnesses can offer benefits: build up immunity for future and provide emotional benefits. Teaches them how to cope. Major Illnesses- Socioeconomic factors prevent some children from getting food health care and that members of minority groups, which tend to have less disposable income, suffer from inferior care. The most frequent illness to strike preschoolers is cancer, particularly leukemia. Leukemia causes the bone marrow to produce an excessive amount of white blood cells, inducing severe anemia and, potentially, death. Reactions to Hospitalization- The experience is quite difficult. The most frequent reaction is anxiety, most typically brought about by the separation from their parents. At a slightly older age they become more upset because they interpret hospitalization on some level as rejection by their family. Psychological Disorders- An increasing number of children are being treated with drugs for depression. It affects 4% of preschoolers. Other problems include: phobias, anxiety, and behavioral disorders. Injuries Before the age of 10, children have twice the chance of dying from an injury than an illness. They have a 1 in 3 chance of receiving an injury that needs medical attention. A child dies every 30 seconds from a preventable injury. This is a result of their high physical activity. Some children are more apt to take risks. Economic factors also take a role. Lead-Poisoning- 14 million children are at risk for lead poisoning due to exposure to toxic levels of lead. There is lead found on painted walls and window frames (more in older homes). Poor children have a higher susceptibility. Tiny amounts of lead can be harmful to children. Exposure to lead has been linked to lower intelligence, problems in verbal ad auditory processing, and both hyperactivity and distractibility. Child Abuse Child abuse is the physical and psychological maltreatment or neglect of children. At least 5 children are killed by their parents every day in the U.S. and 140,000 others are injured every year. Around 3 million children are victims of child abuse. Physical Abuse- It is most frequent in families living in stressful environments. Poverty, single-parents, and higher than normal marital conflicts help create these environments. Stepfathers are more likely to commit abuse against stepchildren than genetic fathers. Abused children are more likely to be fussy, resistant to control, and not adaptable to new situations. They may have developmental delays. One reason for abuse is the vague demarcation between permissible and impermissible forms of physical punishment. Another factor is privacy. According to the cycle of violence hypothesis, the abuse and neglect that children suffer predispose them as adults to abuse and neglect their own children. Psychological Maltreatment- Occurs when parents or caregivers harm children’s behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or physical functioning. May occur through either overt behavior or neglect. Child neglect is when parents ignore their children or are emotionally unresponsive to them. Children may be given unrealistic responsibilities or may be left to fend for themselves. Resilience The ability to overcome circumstances that place a child at high risk for psychological or physical damage, such as extremes of poverty, prenatal stress, or homes that are racked with violence or other forms of social disorder. Gross and Fine Motor Skills The advances in gross motor skills are related to brain development and myelination of neurons in areas of the brain related to balance and coordination. Children also spend a great amount of time practicing these skills. There is also great variations among children. Some are related to inherited temperament – children who are unusually active during infancy tend to continue in this way during preschool years. Environmental factors also play a role. Gender plays a role as they develop. Fine Motor Skills- Involve smaller, more delicate body movements. These skills involve practice and show clear developmental patterns. Potty Wars Current guidelines suggest there is no single time to begin toilet training and that training should begin only when children show that they are ready. Children have no bladder or bowel control until the age of 12 months and only slight control for 6 months after that. Complete training occurs as they mature and attain greater control over their muscles; but delayed training can be a cause of concern if a child is upset about it or if it makes the child a target or ridicule. Handedness and Expression Righties and Lefties- Handedness is the clear preference of the use of one hand over the other and usually develops by the end of the preschool years. Some signs can be seen in infancy. There is no scientific-basis for myths that suggest that there is something wrong with being left-handed. Some even say they have advantages. Art- Art plays a role in honing fine motor skills, as well as in several other aspects of development. Children learn the importance of planning, restraint, and self-correction. The rough, unformed art of preschoolers represents the equivalence of linguistic babbling in infants (Howard Gardner). Occurs in a series of stages: scribbling stage, shape stage, pictorial stage.
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