Child development includes how children play, learn, speak, and behave and it is much more than a child’s physical growth. All children are unique and their development can vary from one to another. Developmental milestones are set of functional skills that are age-specific or are defined as skills or things most children can do at a certain age. Both national and international guidelines suggest that children should be monitored for their growth (height and weight) and development during their well-baby or child check-ups by their physician’s i.e paediatricians.With the help of parents' knowledge of child development and by following the milestone guidelines we can identify children who may be at risk for developmental delay.
Child development is usually measured in five domains: 1. Physical that comprises of Gross(bigger muscles) and fine motor (hand and fingers) skills. 2. Adaptive which is self-care and daily living skills. 3. Social-emotional- your relationship with self and other individuals (adults and children). 4. Cognitive- thinking and problem-solving skills and 5. Communication - that comprises of receptive and expressive language and other nonverbal communication skills.
Developmental screenings and assessments help us to determine if your child is reaching their milestones at the same time as expected of children their age. Seeking further support and consultation are highly recommended in case your child is showing any developmental lags as developmental problems usually do not resolve to own their own. Screening and detecting developmental delays as early as possible will lead to early interventions your child needs and it will help in making him/her reach to their full potential.
As proper nutrition, exercise and rest are important aspects for a child’s health and physical development simultaneously safe and loving environment and spending quality time (playing, singing, reading, etc) with your children aid in their development. Lastly, remember that social reciprocity and interactions are thetwo main catalysts for children’s language development. Avoid using gadgets and screens during the early years of child development as they do not interactwith children and are mostly one way of stimulation. Human interactions and playingwith your children are the most important aspect of child development.