FRHD*1010 Chapter 5.docx

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1010
Susan Chuang

FRHD*1010 th th October 7 – October 13 2013 Chapter 5: Early Childhood Body Changes  In early childhood, the body & brain develop according to powerful epigenic forces  Biology works w/ culture as children eat, grow & play Growth Patterns  During early childhood, children slim down as the legs & arms lengthen & fat turns to muscles  BMI on average is lowest at age 5&6 then any other time in life  Centre of gravity moves from breast to belly  Enabling cartwheels, somersaults, dancing, gymnastics etc.  Weighs between 40-50 lbs by age 6  At least 3.5 feet Nutrition  2-6 year olds ma be at greater nutritional risk b/c they eat too much of the wrong foods Overweight  Cultural practice of encouraging children to eat has turned from protective to destructive  In almost every nation n, 4-year-olds are more overweight than 2-year-olds  Suggests habits not genetics are the problem  Heart disease & diabetes are becoming epidemic b/c overfed children become overweight adults  Appetite decreases between age 1-6  Younger children need less calories per pound Nutritional Deficiencies  Although kids consume enough calories they don't always get enough iron, zinc & calcium  Sugar consumption a lot higher  In developed nations as well, fresh food is best source if nutrition Allergies & Obsessions  Between 3-8% of all young kids have a food allergy, usually to healthy, common food  Treatment varies could include building up tolerance  Feeding young children can be hard b/c they have strong preferences  Obsess or get into routines Just Right: The tendency of children to insist on having things done in a particular way. Can include clothes, food, bedtime routines etc.  Can cause obsessive compulsive disorder  By age 6 rigidity fades Oral Health  Too much sugar and too little fiber cause tooth decay which affects more than 1/3 US kids  Soda & punch are main cause due to the acid  Permanent teeth replace “baby teeth” between age 6-10  Early decay harms formation of permanent teeth & the jaw, impairing speech  Heath habits are best learned in early life  In the U.S free dentistry is scarce Improved Motor Skills  As the body gains strength, children develop motor skills, gross (e.g. skipping) & fine (e.g. drawing)  Mastery depends on practice  Children learn best from peers who do whatever the child is ready to do – from catching ball to climbing tree 1 Environmental Hazards  Safety & supervision are crucial for young kids  Realistic assessment of risk is aided by the prefrontal cortex which doesn't fully mature until adulthood  Pollutants can harm young children’s growing brains and bodies more than older developed ones Avoidable Injury  Everywhere, 2-6 year olds are at greater risk than are slightly older children Injury Control/harm reduction: Practices that are aimed at anticipating, controlling, & preventing dangerous activities; these practices reflect the beliefs that accidents aren’t random & that injuries can be made less harmful if proper controls are in place Prevention 3 Levels of harm reduction apply to early childhood health & safety issue: 1. Primary prevention: Occurs in the macrosystem to make harm less likely, reducing risk of sickness, injury, or death of everyone of any age  E.g. Universal immunization & reduced pollution 2. Secondary prevention: more specific, averting harm in high-risk situations or for vulnerable individuals. For children who are genetically predisposed to obesity, secondary prevention might mean exclusive breast-feeding for 6 month, no soda or sweets available at home/school and frequent outside play 3. Tertiary prevention: begins after harm has occurred. Limiting the damage. If a child falls & breaks an arm, a speedy ambulance & a sturdy cast are tertiary prevention  Some adults say children are overprotected Brain Development  Brains of young children show impressive growth nut aren’t nearly as developed as they will be later on  By age 2 more neurons are connected to other neurons & substantial pruning has occurred  The 2 year old brain is already 75% adult weight & 6-year-olds brain is 90% of adult weight The Maturing Cortex  Between ages 2-6, neurological increases are especially notable in the areas of the cortex, where planning, thinking & social awareness, & language occur Prefrontal Cortex: The area of the cortex at the front of the brain that specializes in anticipation, planning & impulse control  Right above the eyes  Crucial for impulse control Speed of Thought  Most of the increases in brain weight after infancy are the result of myelination Myelination: The process by which axons become coated in myelin, a fatty substance that speeds the transmission of nerve impulses from neuron to neuron  Myelination continues for year but effects are especially apparent in early childhood  By age 6 most children can see an object immediately and name it, catch a ball & throw it etc.  Adults must be patient when listening to young kids talk. Helping them dress etc. Impulsiveness & Perseveration  Young child can speedily combine thoughts is evident when action & reflection are needed  Neurons only have 2 impulses: on-off (active-inhibit) which is signaled by biochemical messages in the brain  Many young children haven’t found balance yet  Flit from 1 activity to the next  Others persevere in or stick to one thought or action Perseveration: The tendency to persevere in or stick to one activity or action for a long time Shapes & Colours  Perseveration gradually declines in every child  No firm explanation of why  Something in the brain matures between age 3-5 to enable children their way of sorting objects 2 Connecting Hemispheres Corpus Callosum: A long, thick band of nerve fibers that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain that allows communication between them  Part of the brain the grows and militates during early childhood  Growth of this makes communication more efficient, allowing children to coordinate the 2 sides of the brain or bod  Failure of this to mature results in serious disorders and can lead to autism  The 2 sides of the body & of the brain aren’t twins  Brain’s right half controls left side of body & is dedicated to emotions, creativity & music, art & poetry  Brain’s left side controls right side of body & dedicated to logical reasoning, detailed analysis & language Laterization: “sidedness” referring to the specialization in certain functions by each side of the brain with 1 side of the brain dominates for each activity.  This is genetic, present @ birth, bit practice as well as time are needed before children can efficiently coordinate both hands, feet, ears etc. Emotions & the Brain Limbic System: The major brain region crucial to the development of emotional expression & regulation; its 3 main areas are the amygdala, hippocampus & the hypothalamus although recent research has found many other regions are involved in emotions Amygdala: A tiny brain structure that registers emotions mainly fear & anxiety Hippocampus: A brain structure that's a central processor of memory especially memory for locations Hypothalamus: A brain area that responds to amygdala & the hippocampus to produce hormones that activate other parts of the brain & body  Receives signals from amygdala Thinking During Early Childhood Piaget: Preoperational Thought Preoperational Intelligence: Piaget’s term for cognitive development between approx. age 2-6; includes language & imagination (which involves symbolic though) but logical, operational thinking is not yet possible Symbolic Thought: The concept that an object or word can stand for something else including something pretend or something not seen. One symbolic thought is possible, language becomes much more useful Animism: The belief that natural objects & phenomena are alive Obstacles to Logic  Piaget said symbolic thought is a characteristic of preoperational thought  Said 4 limitations that make logic hard to age 6 1. Centration: Tendency to focus on 1 aspect of a situation to the exclusion of all others  Egocentrism: children contemplate the world exclusively from their own perspective 2. Focus on Appearance: Young child ignores all attributes that aren’t apparent 3. Static Reasoning: A young child thinks that nothing changes. Whatever is now has always been and always will be  Believes world is unchanging 4. Irreversibility: A young child thinks that nothing can be undone. A thing can’t be restored to the way it was before a change occurred Conservation & Logic 
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