• Development is a product of factors intrinsic and extrinsic to the child.
• Basic knowledge of child development enables clinicians to guide and educate families.
• Development proceeds in a basic sequence.
• Delays in one area of development may affect another.
• In preterm infants, correct for prematurity until age 2 years.
One of the rewards of providing primary care for a child is sharing with the family in the development of cognitive, motor, social, and language skills. Clinicians need to understand the theoretic framework on which the scientific understanding of child development is based in order to individualize the approach to the unique needs and concerns of each family. Physicians should develop strategies for clinically assessing child development and managing identified developmental abnormalities.
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