Healthy Kids at Every Age and Stage
- Age 3: Learning to Follow Rules
- Age 4: Language Learning
- Age 5: Little Problem-Solver
- School-Age Kids: Organized and Responsible
- Teens and Tweens: Declaration of Independence
More Tips for Healthy Kids
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What's your RealAge?Take the RealAge Test to find out your body's true age.
Children's Health Q&As
Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
What are the most important elements in my child's development?
<p>I just returned from an amazing week-long symposium on Early Brain and Biology Development. The faculty came from all over North America and Europe. If I can summarize, there are four important elements: genetics, epigenetics, adverse child experiences and relationships. </p><p><strong>Genetics. </strong>DNA is the molecular code that determines practically everything about us from hair colour and fingerprints to IQ and demeanor. This is familiar to anyone who watches crime stories on TV. </p><p><strong>Epigenetics. </strong>Whether these genes get to express themselves depends on epigenetics or environmental factors that sign the gene with 'Please enter' or 'Do not disturb'. A child may be genetically predisposed to Type 2 Diabetes but if weight is kep within normal range, it may never develop.</p><p><strong>Adverse childhood experiences. </strong>These are events in a child's life that trigger the stress response without it being leveled off by either the child or a caretaker. These experiences could include abuse, neglect, parental depression or anxiety, addiction or domestic violence.</p><p><strong>Relationships</strong>. These are the moderating factors that protect the child from toxic stress and lifelong health impacts from stress. Mom/baby is the #1 relationship. Mom/baby/Dad is being found to be another critical relationship that can protect the child from negative outcomes. Other positive relationships develop and can also be protective.</p><p>The interaction of these four elements will dictate your child's development. The most important way to strengthen the positives is through relationships. They are a very powerful modifier of toxic stress. </p>
- QWhat determines how tall I will be?
- QWhat is an adolescent medicine specialist?
- QCan children have genital problems?
- QHow is jaundice in newborns diagnosed?
- QWhen does Babinski reflex normally go away?
- QWhat causes jaundice in infants?
- QHow should I take my child's temperature?
- QHow common is infant Babinski reflex?
- QWhat increases my newborn's risk of neonatal sepsis?
- QWhat should I know about pediatric depression?
- QWhat causes retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)?
- QWhere is the most accurate place to take my child's temperature?
- QWhat is a premature baby?
- QWhat are the symptoms of jaundice in newborns?
- QWhat is neonatal hydronephrosis?
- QWhat is jaundice in newborns (hyperbilirubinemia)?
- QWhat is neonatal sepsis?
- QShould I be worried if my infant's skin looks pale or jaundiced?
- QWhat are the symptoms of neonatal sepsis?
- QHow is neonatal hydronephrosis diagnosed?
- QHow is retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) detected?
- QHow is neonatal sepsis diagnosed?
- QWhat causes neonatal hydronephrosis?
- QWhy does my baby need an umbilical artery catheter (UAC)?