A brief review of risk-factors for growth and developmental delay among preschool children in developing countries


Department of Physiology, Dr. BR Ambedkar Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India


The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highly prevalent risk factors influencing growth and development among pre-school children in rural population of developing countries. A child's brain during the first 3 years of life is rapidly developing through generation of neurons, synaptogenesis, axonal, and dendric growth and synaptic pruning each of which build upon each other. Any interruption in this process, such as trauma, stress, under-nutrition or lack of nutrients can have long-term effects on the brain's structure and on the child's socio-emotional development. Children's development is essentially cumulative in nature and hence, the early years of life are the foundation for later development. A Med-line search was done to review relevant articles in English literature on evaluation of risk factors influencing child development. Data were constructed and issues were reviewed from there. Influences upon children's development tend to be specific in nature and developmental influences rarely operate in isolation from each other. Developmental risk factors tend to cluster together thereby, interventions designed to facilitate development must be multifocal in nature, integrating influences from different domains.


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