Physical Growth and Development

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Early Childhood 3-8 years

  • Physical appearance of children begins to change, loses body shape, looks like a small adult
  • Infants fast rate of growth begins to slow
  • As children begin to develop, their balance becomes very good: run, jump climb, (by 6/7, ride a bike)
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Adolescence 9-18 years

  • Puberty prepares the body for sexual reproduction
  • Triggered by action of hormones secreted from endocrine glands
  • Boys and girls may experience a growth spurt
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Adolescence 9-18 years - Puberty

Female

  • Gains weight
  • Grows pubic hair
  • Menstrual periods start
  • Breasts enlarge
  • Shape changes - increased fat - layers under the skin
  • Skin and hair change

Male

  • Gains weight
  • Grows pubic and body hair
  • Penis and testicles enlarge
  • Voice "breaks" and deepens
  • Shoulders broaden and muscle strength increases
  • Skin and hair change
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Early Adulthood 19-44 years

  • Young adults are at peak of performance between 18 and 28
  • Women are most fertile in late teens, early 20's
  • Sperm production in men declines at around 40, although they can continue to father children in to their 80's
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Middle Adulthood 45-64 years - Menopause

Menopause

  • Reduction in sex hormones causes menstruation to cease
  • Headaches and hot flushes
  • Hair becomes thinner
  • Teeth loosen and gums recede
  • Breasts droop and flatten
  • Risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Nipples become smaller and flatten
  • Backaches
  • Skin and mucous membranes become drier, skin develops a rougher texture
  • Body and pubic hair becomes thicker and darker
  • Abdomen loses some muscle tone
  • Stress
  • Vaginal dryness, itching and shrinking
  • Bones lose mass and become more fragile
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Middle Adulthood 45-64 years

As people enter their 40's:

  • Men start to lose hair
  • Eyesight begins to deteriorate
  • Skin loses elasticity so wrinkles appear
  • Women continue to menstruate until about 45/50 years old. When they reach the menopause, the ability to reproduce ceases
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