From the moment their children are born, all parents are concerned about making the right things during the upbringing process. Moreover, during this period, grandmothers, grandmothers, neighbors and even acquaintances share their experiences and give advice on raising children. Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital Pediatrics Specialist Prof. Dr. Meltem Uğraş reminded that, of course, experiences are important in child development, but it should not be forgotten that every child is different. Stating that there may be some incorrect information that comes with all the experience obtained, she explained the false facts about child development.
Stating that the factors that make up the height of the child consist of multiple factors defined as multifactorial and therefore the only factor cannot be genetic, Prof. Dr. Meltem Uğraş said, “Here, as well as genetic predisposition, environmental factors such as nutrition, sleep, and exercise of the child are also important. In addition, the child's birth week, birth weight and growth in the first two years also affect the development of the child seriously”.
Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital Pediatrics Specialist Prof. Dr. Meltem Uğraş made the following clarification on the subject: “As we talk about the child's body weight and height when we say growth, when we say development, the behaviors of the child's motor functions and mental development are evaluated according to their age. Therefore, growth and development are often used together. However, growth is somewhat more physical, and at this point, head circumference is as important as height and weight in young children. While evaluating growth, we also look at the child's body weight and head circumference. For example, deviations from normal in the head circumference, in other words being too large or too small, may be a symptom that may cause mental retardation in the child. Likewise, a disease that affects the motor functions of the child may cause a developmental delay along with the development of intelligence. In other words, there may be diseases with mental retardation and motor retardation in the child. In addition to the growth and development retardation of the child, the different appearance of the child may be a clue to some syndromic diseases. Some of them go along with mental retardation. Therefore, although growth and development disorders do not directly affect the intelligence of the child, growth and development problems can be observed together in children with mental development. "
Explaining that it would not be correct to set such sharp boundaries for this information, Prof. Dr. Meltem Uğraş explained the following about the acceleration in growth:
“A human being goes through two major growth spurts in his life. One of these is the attack when he is born. The child makes a very serious growth spurt at the age of one and completes a year by adding three times his birth weight and half his birth height. A growth spurt close to this is seen in adolescents. During puberty, girls and boys grow about 20-25 cm. Girls continue to elongate within two years of starting menstruation. Of course, in order to reach the final size, it should not be forgotten the role of environmental and genetic factors. Growth is completed around the age of 18. "
Reminding that among the factors that determine a child’s ultimate height are genetics, environmental factors, nutrition in childhood and in the womb as well as infections that a child is exposed in the womb, Prof. Dr. Meltem Uğraş said that the parents alone are not effective in achieving the final height of the child. "Therefore, although genetic factors are important, tall parents will not always have tall children, and short parents will not have short children".
Stating that this information is often misunderstood among parents, Prof. Dr. Meltem Uğraş gave the following information on the subject: “Among the factors that increase the height, nutrition and of course protein foods have an important contribution. The most widely known and perhaps used one is milk. However, the characteristic of milk is that it is protein-rich and a child cannot grow in height only by milk. Regular daily protein intake suitable for the age of the child also helps to increase the height. A balanced diet is very important in nutrition. It is not right to give a large amount of protein-rich foods to children, because proteins are not stored in the body; what we need is used and the rest is thrown away in waste. Balanced nutrition and exercise can contribute to height growth.
Stating that the overweight child grows and develops healthy is a common thought, Prof. Dr. Meltem Uğraş pointed out that although this information is partially correct, weight alone is not a sufficient indicator for growth. Prof. Dr. Uğraş explained the following:
“The first measurements taken in pediatric patient follow-up or in the pediatric outpatient clinic are the height and weight of the child. The two are measured together and a decision is made regarding the growth of the child by looking at the percentile (percentage) values for age. A child's height is more important than weight. Again, considering the percentile values, it is meaningful that the height and weight are close to each other or that the child's own height and weight are always balanced in long-term follow-ups. Since obesity may develop in children whose weight percentile is higher than the height percentile, it is necessary to be careful and take necessary precautions "
Stating that babies should go to the doctor regularly from the moment they are born, Prof. Dr. Meltem Uğraş reminded that regular physician controls are very important in healthy child follow-up. “In the first year, children go to the doctor's control quite often, once a month. If there is no disease after the sixth month, follow-up every two or three months will be appropriate. After the age of one, it is usually followed up every 3-6 months. It is absolutely necessary to follow up the growth and development of children who have no illnesses in the Healthy Child Polyclinic. Because there are certain parameters that must be followed at all ages. First of all, the height and weight of the child is examined, neurological development is taken into consideration and it is checked whether the development is provided according to his age.”
Brain development is completed towards the end of adolescence. In the first years, development is very rapid, but it continues until after adolescence. Development is the progressive change of an individual in physical, mental, language, emotional and social aspects (with the interaction of growth, maturation and learning). Brain development begins in the mother's womb, and after birth, nutrition continues with the effects of stimuli from the environment. A child can climb a tree when his nervous system and musculoskeletal system have reached sufficient maturity. In the meantime, the reason why the exact time (month) is not told for the ages at which every child completes the developmental stages is that this can happen in certain time periods from person to person. It takes roughly a certain amount of months for children to be able to perform certain functions such as walking, speaking, urination and stool. For example, 2 healthy children can walk when they are 10 and 14 months old, and these 2 children are also normal. The variability seen in these normal situations is affected by various factors such as the factors in the mother's womb, genetic characteristics, social environment and stimuli. While motor development becomes faster and dominant in the first years, mental, social and cognitive development continues as it grows. In regular controls, physicians evaluate the growth specific to each age group, as well as height and weight, and are directed to the necessary departments in abnormal situations.
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