Child development refers to the changes that take place in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence.

The major stages of child development

  1. Infancy

The child is between one month and about two years.

  1. Early childhoods:

The child is between two and six years.

  1. Childhood proper:

The child has started school. This stage lasts till the child is about ten years old.

  1. Adolescence

: The child is becoming an adult. This stage begins at about eleven years and ends at twenty years


Characteristics of children of ten years and above

At about ten years old, a child starts developing a new way of life, and he starts behaving more like an adult. The child’s body grows in special ways:

1 .Height

: Growth rate increases in children as from ten years of age. At this stage, boys and girls grow almost at the same rate. In some cases, girls grow faster than boys, but girls stop growing earlier than boys.

  1. Weight

: Weight increases in boys and girls almost at the same rate. Boys, however, have more weight than girls up to the age of ten years. Between ten and fifteen years, girls have more weight than boys; but from the age of fifteen years, boys have more weight than girls..

  1. Physical maturity:

Up to the age of ten years, boys and girls are in childhood. From the age of ten years, a few girls develop faster than boys into a stage called puberty.


However, most boys still remain in childhood. By the age of thirteen and a half years, most girls have reached the stage of puberty and are almost physically mature. At this age of thirteen and a half years, only a few boys have reached. Puberty. However, boys do not show signs of physical maturity yet. At the age of eighteen years, most girls are fully mature, but most boys are not.


Factors that hinder physical growth

Every human being should grow normally. However, some children do not grow or develop normally like other children. Here are some reasons for this:


  1. Lack of ventilation:

The ability of air to enter and move around a room is known as ventilation. Some rooms do not have windows. Some have either small windows or very few windows, and as a result, the air in the room is hot. A child needs plenty of fresh air to grow well. If a child often stays in a room where the air is hot, the child cannot grow normally.

  1. Dirty environment:

A child that lives in a dirty place may not grow very well because there are usually many diseases in dirty places that may enter the child’s body, and prevent the child from growing normally like other children.

  1. Malnutrition:

For children to grow normally, they must eat good and balanced food. Children should eat different types of food. They should also eat three times a day. But there are some children who eat only once, or do not eat enough, or eat only one type of food. Such children suffer from a poor state of health, called malnutrition


Malnutrition is bad nutrition, and prevents the normal growth of children and adults. Malnutrition leads to an illness called Kwashiorkor. Children who do not eat food with enough protein suffer from kwashiorkor, which prevents normal growth.

  1. Poor body sanitation:

People who do not take proper care of their body often contract diseases. We are to take our bath and brush our teeth regularly to avoid diseases. Decay of the teeth occurs when the teeth are not properly brushed, and this prevents normal growth of the teeth. It is good to be hygienic. Unhygienic conditions prevent the proper growth of people


How to keep the body physically fit

In order to keep the body physically fit:

1 We must eat well. We must eat different kinds of food, like meat, fish, rice, beans, maize, bananas, oranges, groundnuts, watermelon and carrots.

2 We must rest well. After work or play, we should rest well. We may sometimes sleep during the day, so that we can get enough rest. This is known as taking a nap.

3 We must exercise all parts of our body regularly.

4 We must be clean and neat always. We must take good care of our teeth, our hair, our fingernails and other parts of our body.

5 We must avoid accidents. For example, we should avoid dangerous games.

We should wear shoes, and avoid having serious falls.


Characteristics of household population and its effects on personal hygiene

Most times, the size of the family and the level of education of members of the family can determine the level of personal hygiene of such a family or household. People in large families, with little or no education, often tend to have or adopt bad health attitudes.

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Such families often live in small rooms that are not well ventilated, and often fail to keep their environments clean and tidy. Also, people in large families with little income find it difficult to maintain good personal hygiene. Most times, such families find it difficult to feed well or eat a balanced diet, in order to keep fit and stay healthy. This is because such families cannot afford to buy such food items


Strategies & Activities

Step: Teacher revises the previous topic.

Step 2: Teacher introduces the new topic.

Step3: Teacher explains the new topic.

Step4: Teacher welcomes pupils’ questions.

Step5: Teacher evaluates the pupils.


Assessment & Evaluation

1 .mention four stages of child development.

2 list three changes that take place in the body after ten years of age.

3 state three things that badly affect a child’s development.

4 explain what puberty means.

5 list three things which we can do to keep the body physically fit.



Choose the best answers for the following questions:

  1. When a child is between one month and two years of age, the child is _____________.

A teenager B a youth C an infant D an adult

2_____________ is when a child is between ages two and six years.

A Adolescence B Early childhood C Infancy D Teenage

3 A child that is between ages thirteen and nineteen years is called _____________.

A a teenager B an infant C a toddler D an adult

4 When a child is becoming an adult who begins at age eleven years, the child is _____________.

A a lady B a gentleman C an adolescent D a chief

5 A child’s body starts to develop in some special and sensitive ways from about _____________ years.

A age five B age ten C age six D age two

6 The special ways in which the body develops include _____________.

A height B weight  C A and B D none of the above

7 The inability of air to enter and move around in a room is known as  _____________.

A ventilation B poor ventilation C preservation D cross ventilation


See also





Types of Family

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