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Factors affecting growth
Factor How it affects children's growth
Heredity Children's genetic make-up that they inherit from their
biological parents will affect children's overall height. Some
medical conditions affecting growth can also be inherited
Hormones Hormones are chemicals. They act as `messengers' and tell
cells when to divide. At certain stages in children's lives an
increase in hormones will produce more rapid growth. A
good example of this in young people is during puberty.
Nutrition The body needs energy in order to grow. The body also
needs a wide range of substances called nutrients in order
for muscles, bones and organs to keep healthy, and also
grow. Children who are not eating a balanced diet may have
uneven or insufficient growth.
Sleep Sleep is important for growth. During sleep, hormones for
growth are produced. Babies usually sleep between 12 and
14 hours a day, while young children will need 10 to 12
hours. Children who do not sleep well may have uneven
illness Children who are frequently ill may not grow well. This is
because they may not feel like eating or they may not be
sleeping well. Some types of diseases can also make it hard
for the digestion of nutrients to take place.
Emotional There are many reasons why children may not be relaxed
Influences and happy. This includes separation of parents, the death of
a close relative or not being settles in an early years setting.
When children have long periods of unhappiness, they are
less likely to sleep or eat well. They are also more likely to