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1.5: Developmental Influences- Health

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    Learning Objective

    The objective in this section is for you to explain how health influences growth and development This meets the NAEYC Standard 1b, 6b and the MA Core Competency 1.A. 2 @ Initial & 8.D.12@Initial level.

    NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment (2005) the primary responsibility of an educator is to provide care and education in settings that are safe, healthy, nurturing, and responsive for each child. The first principle to guide our conduct and ethical responsibility to children is

    P-1.1—Above all, we shall not harm children. We shall not participate in practices that are emotionally damaging, physically harmful, disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitative, or intimidating to children. This principle has precedence over all others in this Code.

    • Separate the diapering and toileting areas from food preparation and feeding areas.
    • Keep all areas clean.
    • Wash hands frequently
    • Provide easy to clean and suitable surfaces and covering for the activities in the area
    • Heat, light, ventilation, and acoustics impact health. Natural lighting, soft elements to reduce noise, and screened, openable windows are ways to improve health.
      1. Abuse and Neglect
      2. Lead poisoning
      3. Asthma
      4. Unintentional Injuries
      5. Oral Health

    Abuse and Neglect

    Chapter 2 Toddler Development Review The Youngest Americans: A Statistical Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States to read the statistics for the number of infants and toddlers that suffer abuse and neglect. How does the the abuse and neglect of infant and toddlers compare to other age groups? What are the risk factors for child abuse and neglect? What are your responsibilities for reporting?​​​​​​​

    Lead poisoning

    Preventing lead poisoning in young children Atlanta: CDC; 2005.

    Protecting Children from Lead Poisoning (2014)​​​​​​​


    Resource to Review

    aring for Kids with Asthma: A Guide for Massachusetts Child Care Programs (2013) What are your experiences with asthma? How will you use the Asthma Action Plan (AAP) and individual health care plan (IHCP) described in the document

    Unintentional Injuries

    [1] (2006) identified the injuries most common for each age group of children. For infants, suffocation and falls are the most common. For toddlers, falls and poisonings are the leading causes of nonfatal injuries, followed by scald burns and motor vehicle–related injuries. There are many regulations designed to prevent injury such as regular building inspections, use of guardrails and protective barriers, safety covers for electrical outlets, requirement for an integrated pest management policy, use and storage of toxic substances, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, CPR and first aid training, and the use of injury reports. How many of these practices have you seen in use?

    What about toddlers make them accident prone?

    Infant Toddler Foundations (2008).

    Young toddlers may begin to:

    • Experience cause and effect (going downhill fast cause falls; turning the TV up too loud hurts ears).
    • Show some caution on uneven ground and heights.
    • Notice and imitate adult reactions to dangerous people and situations.
    • Respond to warnings and directions from others.
    • Understand the difference between what should be eaten and what should not.

    Older toddlers may begin to:

    • Remember cause and effect experiences and apply their experiences to future situations (avoid touching cold railing, walk slowly down hill where fall happened).
    • Increase self-control over their impulses.
    • Recognize and avoid situations that might be unsafe.
    • Understand what their bodies can do and understand their limits.
    • Watch for adult reactions to unfamiliar things or situations that might be dangerous.
    • Understand and follow basic health and safety rules. They still require close supervision from caregivers to follow these health and safety rules consistently.
    • Feel proud when they follow safety rules and ashamed when they do not (say, “Look, I waited!” at corner; hang head after trying to reach forbidden item).​​​​​​​

    Oral Health

    A Healthy Mouth for Your Baby . This 4 minute video is for families of infants or toddlers. It explains why baby teeth are important, gives tips on how to prevent early childhood tooth decay, and promotes a dental visit around 12 months. (2013)

    The regulations require

    The children are in care for more than 4 hours, or they have a meal while in care.

    1. Use a small smear of fluoride toothpaste
    2. Spit it all out in the sink
    3. NOT rinse with water after brushing.

    How will you support healthy oral health habits?

    Growing Healthy Smiles In The Child Care Setting: Implementing a Tooth Brushing Program to Promote Oral Health and Prevent Tooth Decay. Boston: Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

    Is the environment healthy for infant and toddlers?

    Let’s Move! Child Care Checklist Quiz. The Let’s Move! Child Care best practices are listed on the left. Please check the box under the statement that best describes the current situation of the program.

    Eco-Healthy Child Care® Checklist developed by the Children’s Environmental Health Network. The checklist reflects best practices for health as described in the Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards, 3rd Edition. By completing the checklist you will discover 30 ways to benefit the health and well-being of the children in childcare program.

    This page titled 1.5: Developmental Influences- Health is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Susan Eliason via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.