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Home > Who We Are > News > 2015 > 04 > The Importance of Developmental Screening in Children

The Importance of Developmental Screening in Children

Apr 20, 2015

Child development is how a child grows, learns, and progresses over time from birth through adolescence.  Although each child progresses at a different rate, their skill development generally follows a set order and happens around the same time for most children.  This progression of common skills is called developmental milestones.  An example would be how most children start walking around their first birthday, after they have cruised around furniture for a time period.  Some children walk as early as 9 months while others may not walk until after their first birthday.  Walking during this age span is typical of most children, therefore a child who begins walking during this age range is considered to be meeting the developmental milestone of walking.  If a child is not walking during this time period, there could be concern of a developmental delay and further assessment may be needed.  

Although child development is not an exact science, a child’s behaviors and skills can be measured against what is typical for a child of a certain age to determine if there are concerns of developmental delay.  A developmental delay is when a child is not meeting developmental milestones for their age range.  This can affect how they learn and how they acquire more advanced skills as they grow.  

Developmental screening can help determine if a child is meeting their developmental milestones or if they need further assessment.  This screening can take place in a physician’s office or in other health care, community, or school settings.  Developmental screening is an important part of making sure a child is healthy.  When a developmental delay is not recognized early, children must wait to get the help they need.  The earlier a child with a delay is identified, the sooner they can start receiving support for the delay and may even enter school more ready to learn. 

Parents can help their child develop to their fullest potential by ensuring their child receives regular developmental screenings, speaking to their physician if there is a concern, and making sure their child has proper nutrition, exercise, and rest.  In addition, a parent can support their child’s development by providing a safe, nurturing home with lots of playing, singing, reading and talking.

Ask your child’s doctor for a developmental screening, or if your child is under 5, contact the HACAP WIC office at (319)366-7632 to set up an appointment for a screening.  Also, you can bring your child aged 0-5 to the Healthy Child Screening Day at the Cedar Rapids Public Library on April 25th, 2015 between 9AM-1PM to receive no cost screenings for your child. 

Category: General Blogs