Child Physical Development

All About Child Physical Development

Any development that involves muscles or the body is considered physical development. Child physical development is usually the easiest to see and is often the most exciting. Seeing a baby roll over for the first time, or grab onto a toy is a thrill for any parent. Physical development gives children the tasks they need to interact with and learn about the world. Child physical development is usually measured based on milestones that are expected within an age range.

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Measuring Child Growth and Development

Children's muscle development can be measured in a few different ways. Child growth and development is often seen in terms of gross motor development and fine motor development. Gross motor skills involve large muscle groups like arms and legs. An example of this would be running. Fine motor skills development involves small muscle groups like the fingers. An example of a skill in this area is picking up a spoon.

The Importance of a Child Growth Chart

Although children develop at different rates, there are growth charts that give a range of what to expect from your child at certain ages. A child growth chart is generally based on height and weight for age, weight for height, body mass index (BMI) for age, and head circumference for age. Your doctor will probably chart these measurements for the first 12 to 24 months of your child's life. Some of these characteristics are also compared with those of the parents, if there is any indication that the child is outside of the range. For instance, a child with a particularly large head might be of concern, unless they have a parent who also has a particularly large head. It is often useful, and fun for your children to see, if you keep your own growth chart to keep track of their height.

Measuring Your Growing Child

In general, children grow in spurts. A young boy may feel strong pains in his legs at night and feel fine the next day. These are often called growing pains. Your growing child can feel awkward as different areas of the body grow at different rates. It is important that they understand that this is perfectly normal. Children do not usually worry about their rate of growth until they are at school and begin to be compared with their peers in terms of height and weight.

What is the Child Growth Hormone?

The normal growth pattern for children is about two inches per year. If they are growing less than this, it is possible that they have a deficiency in the child growth hormone. This hormone is produced in the pituitary gland. Children with this deficiency still grow, and are proportionally normal; they are just smaller than other children. They often appear younger than their age. They may also be slower to develop teeth and may reach puberty later. If you are concerned about your child's growth, you should consult a doctor to find out what your options are.