5 Growth Patterns Early Childhood / Preschool Years Ages 2 - 6 years Physical growth becomes slowerChildren become leaner and tallerBoth boys & girls grow about 2-3 inches per yearAnd gain about lbs per yearBoys overall tend to become slightly taller and heavier.Both begin to look more like smaller adults than infants.Motor skills developBecoming stronger, faster, and better coordinated
6 Figure 8.1 – Growth Curves for Height and Weight, Ages 2 to 6 Years
8 Development of the Brain The Brain grows faster than rest of body during the Early Developmental Years.Visual skills are also facilitated by brain development.Enables learning to readBy ages 4-7 most children experience increase in ability to focus on schoolwork.
9 Development of the Brain Right-Brain * Left-BrainLeft Hemisphere functionsLogical analysis, problem-solving, language, computationRight Hemisphere functionsUsually superior in visual/spatial functions, aesthetic and emotional responses, and understanding metaphorsBut brain functions are not completely separated as to hemisphere.Children are neither Right-Brained nor Left-BrainedThe functions of both hemispheres overlap via the corpus callosum (the nerve fibers connecting the hemispheres).Answer to T-F? # 1 - Some children are left-brained, and others are right-brained. FICTION - Actually many functions of the different brain hemispheres overlap.
10 Development of the Brain Plasticity of the BrainRefers to the ability to compensate for injuries to the brainPlasticity is greatest about age 2 years then gradually declines“Sprouting” (growth of new dendrites) and redundancy of neural connections enable plasticityIf adults suffer damage causing loss of speech, they may not recover it, but preschoolers may regain functions.
12 Motor Development Gross Motor Skills Involve the large muscles used in locomotionPreschoolers average 25 hrs a week in large muscle activityMotor activity slows after age 2-3Acquired through self-teaching and observing other childrenImitation of peers more important than adult instruction at this age.Rough-and-Tumble play helps develop physical and social skills.Boys and girls are similarBoys show advantage in throwing and kicking.Girls better at balance and precision.
13 Motor Development Gross Motor Skills, con’t Individual differences larger than sex differencesChildren who have physically active parents are more active also.Twin studies also point to a genetic tendency for activity levels.Experiences in infancy seem to have effect of development of advancing motor skills.Early crawlers do better in early childhood motor skills development.
14 Table 8.1 – Development of Gross Motor Skills in Early Childhood
15 Motor Development Fine Motor Skills Involve the small muscles used in manipulation and coordinationControl of wrists and fingers enable learning:To hold a pencilDress themselvesStack blocksTie shoelacesUse zippers
16 Table 8.2 – Development of Fine Motor Skills in Early Childhood Note: The ages are averages; there are individual variations.
17 Motor Development Children’s Drawings Development of drawing linked to motor and cognitive skillsAge 2: scribbling beginsThe building blocks of art20 basic scribbles such as:VerticalHorizontalDiagonalCircular, curving, wavingZigzagging linesDotsEtc.
18 Figure 8.2 – The Twenty Basic Scribbles This is Figure 8.2 on p. 138 of CDEV
20 Motor Development Children’s Drawings, con’t. Overall: Early drawing tends to be symbolic of broad categories rather than specific themes.Between 3-5 they are more likely to draw first and name after.After 5 become able to draw object they have in mind.Also increase skills at copying figures
21 Figure 8.3 – Four Stages in Children’s Drawings This is Figure 8.3 on p. 139 of CDEV
22 Motor Development Handedness Hand preference Early establishment Genetic ComponentBoth parents Right-Handed: 92% chance child will be alsoBoth parents Left-Handed: 50% chance child will be alsoEarly establishment2-3 months infants will hold items longer in one hand than the otherBy 4 months will show a clear preference7-11 months grasping with one hand or the other increases
23 Motor Development Handedness, con’t. Left-handedness: once seen as a deficiencyDisadvantagesAppears to be connected by language problems (dyslexia and stuttering)Also health problems (high blood pressure and epilepsy)And psychological disorders (schizophrenia and depression)AdvantagesA disproportionately high percentage of math whizzes are left-handed (20% of highest scoring yr olds taking SAT)Left-handed and ambidextrous people seem to have more success at athletic sports involving hand use (handball, fencing, boxing, etc.Plus higher frequencies of left-handed people are found among (musicians, architects, and artists)Answer to T-F? # 2 - A disproportionately high percentage of math whizzes are left-handed. TRUE - In the survey reported by O’Boyle and Benbow (1990), 20% of the highest scoring group on the math SATs was left-handed, whereas only 10% of the general population is left-handed.
25 Nutrition Caloric Needs Taste Preferences 4-6 year olds increase caloric needs to approx. 1,400 calories a day (opposed to about 1,000-1,300 at 1-3 yrs)During 2nd - 3rd years appetite becomes erraticTaste PreferencesEarly preference for sugar and salt increases with exposure.Many children eat too much sugar and salt.Parents serve as role models and should encourage eating healthy vegetables and fruits.Beginning with tiny amounts 8-10 times a week to familiarize tastes to child
28 Health & Illness Major Illness Chronic Illnesses Arthritis; Diabetes; Cerebral Palsy; Cystic FibrosisApprox. 1/3 or 20 million children under 18 yrs suffer from a chronic illnessMajor IllnessesRubella (German Measles); Tetanus; Mumps; Whooping Cough; Diphtheria; Polio; Pneumonia; TuberculosisIn U.S. and other Industrialized CountriesDramatically reduced due to widespread immunizations and development of antibiotics and other medicationsLead poisoning found in paint and water pipes can cause neurological damage in early childhood.In Developing Nations8-9 million children die from major illnesses.Air pollution causing respiratory infections: 1 death in 5 in children under 5 yrsDiarrhea kills nearly 2 million due to unsafe water, poor sanitation, and hygiene.
29 Health & Illness Accidents Cause more deaths in early childhood than the next 6 most frequent causes combinedMotor Vehicle Accidents: single most common cause of death in early childhoodRatio by Sex:Boys most likely regardless of SESBy Socioeconomic Status (SES):Poor children are 2 times more likely to die in vehicular accidents.Poor children 5 times more likely to die from fires.High incidence attributed to living in dangerous housing and neighborhoods.
31 Sleep Normal Sleep Hours Pattern Routine Resistance Preschoolers: hours per 24 hr periodPattern9-10 hrs per night hours napping during dayRoutineTypically includes: putting on PJs, brushing teeth, and being read a storyMany youngsters also take a “transitional object” (favorite blanket or stuffed animal) to bed with them.ResistanceMany children typically resist going to bed and/or to sleep.Can be a problem for preschoolers since they tend to not make-up lost sleep
32 Table 8.3 Sleep Obtained by Children during a 24-Hour PeriodThis is Table 8.3 on p. 142 of CDEV
33 Sleep Sleep Disorders Sleep Terrors Usually begin in early childhood or early adolescence but are outgrown by late adolescenceSometimes associated with stress (moving, divorce, etc.)Occur during deep sleepSymptoms include sudden awakening accompanied by high heart and respiration rates, incoherent talking, and thrashing aboutRecovery includes child falling back to a more restful sleepIf persistent or very severe, seek profession guidance.* Note to editor - there is no mention of child not recalling the incident - perhaps the author could add that if so inclined (just a suggestion)
34 Sleep Sleep Disorders, con’t. Sleep Walking: Somnambulism Onset between ages 3-8 yearsBehaviors include going to bathroom, getting food from refrigerator, arranging toys, etc. and then returning to bedCause:Reflects immaturity of nervous systemMyths: (all false)Their eyes are closed; they will naturally avoid harm; they will become violent if awakened during an episodeAnswer to T-F # 4 - FALSE - Children may be difficult to rouse when they are sleep walking, but if they are awakened, they are more likely to be confused than violent.
36 Elimination Disorders Toilet TrainingThe process by which parents teach children to inhibit reflexive elimination of waste products.Child’s maturity plays critical role in successful training.Most U.S. children are toilet trained by age 3-4 years.Answer to T-F # 5 - Competent parents toilet train their child by the second birthday - FICTION - Actually most American children are toilet trained between the ages of 3 and 4 . They may have nighttime “accidents” for another year or so.
37 Elimination Disorders EnuresisFailure to control the bladderClassified as disorder if wetting is still evident at least twice a month past age 5-6 yearsNight time occurrences: bed-wetting is more difficult to control8-10% of children: 2 times more common in boysOccurs during deep sleep cyclesCausesOrganic: immaturity of motor cortex in brainOutcomesUsually outgrow problems by age 8 and almost always by teens
39 Elimination Disorders EncopresisLack of control over the bowelsMore common among boys1-2% of children age 7-8 experience continuing problems with bowel control.Unlike bed-wetting more common at night, encopresis is more likely to occur during dayCauses:Physical: chronic constipationPsychological: following harsh punishment of toileting accidents especially in stressed/anxious children