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Growth & Development

  Infants & Toddlers
- Public Health Measures -

 Growth & Development

Ψ  Immunization is the process by which an individual is exposed to an agent that is designed to fortify his or her immune system against that agent. When the human immune system is exposed to a disease once, it can develop the ability to quickly respond to a subsequent infection. Therefore, by exposing an individual to an immunogen in a controlled way, their body will then be able to protect itself from infection later on in life.

Ψ  SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is the leading cause of death among infants who are 1 month to 1 year old, & claims the lives of about 2,500 infants each year in the U.S. It is a frightening prospect because it can strike without warning, usually in a seemingly healthy infant. Most SIDS deaths are associated with sleep (hence the common reference to "crib death"), & infants who die of SIDS show no signs of suffering.

    •  African-American infants are twice as likely & Native American infants are about three times more likely to die of SIDS than Caucasian infants.

    •  Most deaths due to SIDS occur between 2 & 4 months of age, & incidence increases during cold weather.

    •  More boys than girls fall victim to SIDS.

    •  Potential risk factors for SIDS include:

        •  Foremost: stomach sleepingPlace healthy infants on their backs to sleep!!
         •  smoking, drinking, or drug use during pregnancy
          •  poor prenatal care
           •  mothers younger than 20
            •  smoke exposure following birth
             •  prematurity or low birth-weight
              •  overheating from excessive sleepwear & bedding

Ψ  SIDS prevention & Crawling

•  In 1994 to prevent SIDS, the Back to Sleep campaign began urging parents to place drowsy infants on their backs to fall asleep. At that time, 70 percent of babies were tummy sleepers, by 2001 this figure had dropped to 20 percent, reducing the rate of SIDS significantly.

•  But American babies now crawl later than they used to, typically by 2 months. Less stomach time seems to delay a baby's ability to crawl because there's less opportunity to practice. It should be noted that delayed crawling has not resulted in delayed walking, with both early & late crawlers taking their first steps close to their first birthdays. The same goes for the 5 percent of babies who never crawl & who just proceed straight to walking.

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?


Ψ  Breast is Best: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants be fed exclusively with breast milk for the first four to six months.

Ψ  Severe protein-calorie malnutrition: when a person does not consume sufficient food on any kind.
Ψ Marasmus: In the 1st year of life, severe protein-calorie malnutrition leading to death.
Ψ Kwashiorkor: During toddler hood, chronic malnutrition not leading to death in itself but increases risk of death from diseases such as measles, diarrhea, & influenza.

Lifespan Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates