Child development

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Child development is the study or examination of mechanisms that operate during the biological and psychological process of growth of a child to adolescence, from dependency to increasing autonomy. Pediatrics is the branch of medicine relating to the care of children. Age-related development terms are: Infant or baby (ages 0 - 1.5) (including neonate or newborn), toddler (ages 1.5 - 4); child; preadolescence up to adolescence and puberty.

The optimal development of children is vital to society. Therefore the social, cognitive, emotional, and educational development of children is important to understand. Increased research and interest in this field has resulted in new theories and strategies, with specific regard to developmentally appropriate practice within the school system.


Milestones are the specific physical and mental abilities (such as walking and understanding language) according to age of a child. Milestones are the major focus of Child development stages. Milestones can be described as what a child accomplishes throughout the different stages in their life. An example of this would be eye-hand coordination, which includes a child's increasing ability to manipulate objects in a coordinated manner. Increased knowledge of age-specific milestones allow parents and other caring adults to keep track of appropriate development. Crucial aspects of child development include: patience, problem solving, social skills, and creativity. All of these traits should be taught at a young age and practiced frequently.[1] A common concern in child development is developmental delay. This concern involves a delay in age-specific ability for important developmental milestones. Early intervention and prevention of developmental delay are the major focus of research in child development.

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  1. {{Citation | title = Straight and Devious Pathways from Childhood to Adulthood | first = Michael | last = Rutter | year = 1990 | publisher = Cambridge Press |