What factors affect physical development in early childhood?

Several factors can affect physical development in early childhood. Participating in physical activities such as running, climbing, or playing ball will promote normal physical development in early childhood. Proper diet and nutrition during infancy and childhood will also promote normal physical growth and development. Illness or disease can influence a child's physical development. Most medical and scientific experts believe that hereditary factors also affect growth and development during early childhood.

Genetics play a key role in physical development in early childhood. Some children grow at a seemingly rapid rate, while others are smaller than average. A child who is considered small for her age may have parents who are shorter than average. In many cases, the rate of physical development in children correlates with the rate of development that their parents achieved at the same age.

The environment in which a child is raised can play an important role in child development. Children who are exposed to air pollution can develop chronic lung disease or episodes of pneumonia. A child exposed to extremely loud noise on a daily basis may suffer from hearing loss, which may be apparent when starting school. Children who live in a stressful environment can develop poor eating habits that can contribute to obesity.

Children who are malnourished will generally experience abnormal physical development. This can include soft bones from a lack of calcium or a weakened immune system. Malnutrition can also lead to early tooth decay in children.

Also, children who do not receive childhood immunizations can develop the disease. Some childhood illnesses can negatively affect a child's physical development or cause serious health complications, such as heart disease. According to medical experts, a child who has been vaccinated against various diseases has a better chance of developing normally.

Physical development can also be affected when young children do not receive adequate physical exercise on a regular basis. Experts recommend that parents encourage children as young as three to participate in physical activity every day. Regular exercise can strengthen bones and muscles, as well as improve coordination in very young children.

Chronic or serious illnesses, such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, or asthma, can also affect physical development in early childhood. Some medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, can affect fine motor skills and coordination in young children. In many cases, physical rehabilitation therapy can improve or develop a child's gross and fine motor skills.

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