According to Healthy People 2020 early and middle childhood studies of health show room for improvement. Many studies are being held in research for the development of young children. The main areas of study are their social, physical and cognitive developments. There are considered to be three different stages of a child’s development. One being early childhood, this is usually from the birth of a child to about age eight. Many developmental milestones are reached in this stage. This time is so important to a human being because they learn everyday behaviors such as how to eat, walk, talk, and sit. Studies show that the first couple years of life are crucial for the future health of the child. Many of the typical milestones will not be reached or delayed in children who experience poor parental upbringing or any other traumatic events during this stage. Children become accustomed to many everyday health behaviors such as eating habits, dental hygiene, and personal hygiene that they will take with them for the remainder of their lifetime.
Middle childhood ranges from about six to twelve years of age. During this time children learn how to foster relationships with friends and also family. Middle childhood is when most children learn how to behave in public or at home. They develop character and shape themselves for adult life. Children in this stage learn self discipline and good decision making skills. Many adult disorders such as obesity, dental health, social or developmental disorders, and abuse form from early to middle childhood traumas.
Adolescence is the last stage of childhood and is commonly known as the teenage years. During this time children learn independence and are turning into adults. By this time, children have formed their health routine and behavior they will take with them for the rest of their adult lives. In order to insure the lifelong health of children, there are a few basic things a child must have. A nurturing family, safe environments in school, pubic and at home and access to high quality health care.
Many government funded programs such as SCHIP ensure health care for children who live below the poverty level in America. This program is important because children’s health behaviors are often dependent on how they are raised. If their family lives much below the poverty level, chances are many of them are not getting adequate health care. By educating parents about their health, we can hope that they will pass this down to their children and create an overall healthy community.
The National Institute of Health Care Management states that:
“Many nations have already begun to con- struct such a scaffolding by guaranteeing mean- ingful health care coverage, routinely utilizing teams of visiting maternal child health nurses, establishing readily accessible child care and child development centers, and providing other income and family support for families with young children. These kinds of supportive meas- ures are now the norm in the Scandinavian coun- tries, France, the Netherlands, many parts of Italy, Spain and elsewhere.”
English speaking countries such as America, UK, Canada, and Australia are lagging in early childhood development programs. IT doesn’t come as a surprise then, that these countries rank very low in childhood health categories.