The increase in the size and the weight of the child is not due to the development of the bones

, muscles, or fatty tissue alone, but it is also due to the growing of different internal organs, connected with respiration, circulation, and digestion.  

• Respiratory System The lungs at birth are small, as may be seen by the fact that the chest circumference at that age is smaller than the head circumference. Throughout the adolescent years, the lungs increase in volume and weight.

• Circulatory System The heart at birth is higher in the chest, more horizontal in position, heavier and larger than at any other time in life. The heart at birth is small. Changes in the heart and blood vessels throughout the years of growth result in changes in blood pressure, pulse rate, and body temperature.

• The blood pressure in childhood is low but it increases at puberty due to the increase in the ratio of heart volume to the size of the aorta. The pulse rate ranges between 120 and 140 in the early ages of life as contrasted with the normal rate of 72 in adults. At birth, the pulse rate of girls is higher than the boys. But as they grow the reverse is true. Among young children, body temperature is variable. It is usually lower in the early morning than in the afternoon.

• Digestive System Baby’s stomach is tubular in shape, lies transversely in the body. That is why food empties quickly. The adult’s stomach is baglike in shape, the food empties slowly. Metabolism is more rapid in children than in adults.

• Good health in childhood is essential not only to normal growth but also to normal activity. Once a child has poor health, this affects his physical growth and his mental growth.

Illness that leaves a damaging effect on the child’s body likewise leaves scars on his personality. Good Health Characteristics of a healthy child: Mucous membranes, especially of the lips, are definitely pink.

• Facial expression is happy, often radiant. Smiling is frequent. Eyes are bright and responsive. Skin is smooth and elastic. Limbs are rounded, because of sufficient subcutaneous fat.

• Muscles are well formed and their tonus is good. The stance is well balanced, erect and graceful. The limb muscles are almost straight. The spine is erect. The shoulder girdles do not drop. The archers of the feet are well formed. Movements of the limbs and body in walking and running are characterized by elasticity, vigor and poise.

• Periods of Susceptibility Susceptibility to disease is marked from three to six or eight years of age. Common causes of death during the first year of life: A: Respiratory Illness B: Gastro-intestinal disturbances Common causes of death among children of school age: A: Cardiovascular diseases B: Cancer

• Common Childhood Illnesses Some common childhood illnesses are: Colds and upper respiratory infections are most common at all ages. Measles and chicken pox are common in the elementary school years. Allergic reactions such as milk rash,

• Diseased tonsils and adenoids are frequent in childhood. Girls have more diseases than boys. First-born children do not have more diseases than do the later-born children, but the first-born children suffer more from gastro-intestinal upsets, feeding disorders, constipation, stomach disorders, allergies and asthma due to the tensions of overanxious parents.

• Imaginary Illness Children at sometime or another complain of “not Felling well” as an escape from some unpleasant duty or to avoid punishment they justly deserve. Effects of Illness The effect of illnesses on children depends upon the severity, the length, and the nature of the illness.

• Effects of illness: Loss of weight Decline in growth in height Modification in the growth of bones Scars appear on the bones, and the rates of growth both in size and maturity of the skeleton may be affected

• Deformities of the bones usually follow rickets and poliomyelitis The muscles lose some of their tone, become flabby, and are easily fatigued

• Diseased tonsils and malnutrition have the most pronounced effect on school work Illness may be the starting point for behavior difficulties and personality disturbances

• Personality changes follow diseases where there is secondary involvement of the central nervous system, such as pneumonia, malaria, pernicious anemia, diabetes, or poliomyelitis Children suffering from asthma show fears of separation from their mothers Unfavorable social attitudes and the