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Preschooler Physical Development. Chapter 13. Physical Growth. The rate of growth slows slightly The average increase in height is 2 ½ to 3 inches per year Average weight gain is 4-5 pounds per year Boys tend to be slightly taller and heavier than girls during this time. Posture improves

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physical growth
Physical Growth
  • The rate of growth slows slightly
  • The average increase in height is 2 ½ to 3 inches per year
  • Average weight gain is 4-5 pounds per year
  • Boys tend to be slightly taller and heavier than girls during this time

Posture improves

  • Bodies become straighter and slimmer with less of a protruding tummy
  • Balance and coordination improve

It is common for preschoolers to lose their primary teeth

There are 20 primary teeth in all; 32 permanent teeth

Molars are the first permanent teeth to appear and act as anchors for the rest of the teeth

thumb sucking
Thumb sucking
  • Many children in this age range continue this behavior as a way to cope with stress and comfort themselves
  • Usually they will stop on their own
  • Concerned caregivers should speak with their dentist
  • Damages might occur if thumb sucking continues past the 5th birthday
motor skills
Motor Skills

What are some gross motor skills you would expect at age 4?

Age 5?

Age 6?

Fine and gross motor skills improve dramatically

Many skills require guidance and practice

Children might master one skill but not another

Expect individual differences

Children need lots of opportunities to develop their motor skills

fine motor skills
Fine Motor Skills

Dexterity, or ease and skill in physical activity improves greatly during this time

Hand-eye coordination improves as well

Hand preference develops after age two, and many children continue to switch off until the last half of their fifth year

About 85% of children are right handed

Ambidextrous means being able to use both hands with equal skill

health and wellness
Health and Wellness

The amount of food children need is determined by their activity level and current weight

4-6 year olds do better when eating five or six small, nutritious meals than three large ones

Snacks should be appealing and nutritious

It is important for caregivers to model good eating habits

Using food as a reward and forcing children to eat tend to lead to poor eating habits

To get preschoolers interested in good nutrition, let them help prepare foods in a safe way

It is important for parents to discuss nutritional choices with children so they can make good choices

nutritional concerns
Nutritional Concerns
  • Two signs that children are meeting nutritional needs:
    • 1)gaining weight at an appropriate rate
    • 2) eating a variety of foods
  • Problems in nutrition for preschoolers:
    • Parents rely too heavily on fast food or convenience food choices
  • Adults set a poor example by snacking on junk foodFor children with weight problems:
    • Seek a doctor’s advice if you think the child is over or underweight
    • Work to gradually improve the child’s eating habits and activity over time
checkups immunizations
Checkups & Immunizations
  • Most children are required to have checkups and immunizations before kindergarten

What are some common diseases we receive immunizations to protect against?

What healthy snacks could you offer a picky preschooler who needed more variety?

self care skills
Self Care Skills
  • Children in this age group can wash and dress themselves, brush their teeth and hair.
  • Caregivers should encourage this independence but remember that help is sometimes needed
  • Most preschoolers can dress themselves, but will need help matching clothing
  • Comfort, durability and economy are important factors
  • Children will develop specific likes and dislikes and will try to dress like their friends
  • Group identification=a feeling of belonging with others
  • Children are old enough to help with routine care, like putting clothes into the hamper and sorting clothes
sleep toileting
Sleep & Toileting

By the age of four, many children no longer take naps

Bedtime schedules are important and routines will help the child settle in

Toileting accidents will decrease by four years

It is still important to remind children to use the bathroom before activities or trips

Be sure children know where the restroom is (when in a new place)

A change of clothes isn’t a bad idea, either…

washing bathing and teeth
Washing, bathing and teeth

Parents should help with tooth brushing until age 5

Fluoride is a substance that strengthens the enamel of teeth to prevent decay

Enamel is the hard, outer coating of teeth

Fluoride is often added to drinking water to help prevent cavities.

For preschoolers, there are more fun thing to do than bathe.

Caregivers will need to establish a routine and try to make bath time fun

outdoor safety
Outdoor safety
  • What hazards can you think of involving:
  • Bicycles?
  • Traffic?
  • Playgrounds?
  • Swimming pools?
  • Theme parks?

Like mommy

  • Charlie bit me