Growth and development occurs throughout the lifespan. Growth is an increase in the size of and the number of cells, resulting in an increase in size and weight of the whole, or any of its parts. It occurs in a continuous pattern, pace varies and the most rapid growth takes place in utero, in the first 2 years of life and in adolescence. Growth of the infant is measured by estimating the weight, length, head circumference and, in some instances, skinfold thickness.
Development is the increase in complexity of the individual, involving structure and function; the emerging of an individual’s capacities through learning, growth and maturation. Development is measured using developmental scales and follows patterns of development (Table 59.1).
Development is divided into four major areas:
- 1 Gross motor: