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Physical and mental health for young children
Physical and mental health for young children

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Session 1: Promoting the health of all children


Health can be a complicated subject, and the terms used can sometimes feel like a different language which can lead to confusion or misunderstandings. Therefore, the first section of the course starts by looking at definitions of some terms that are frequently used when referring to health.

This course looks at children’s physical and mental health, which may be thought of as being different to each other, however physical and mental health can interrelate, and this is explored in this first session.

Many of the conditions that affect children’s health can be prevented, ways of preventing these conditions are explored in this course. You’ll also learn more about the sorts of conditions that are passed on, that are communicable, such as infectious diseases. And the non-communicable conditions, so-called because they are caused by other factors that can’t be communicated, or passed on, such as genetic inheritance. Health promotion needs to start when children are young and this course will outline some of the responsibilities of adults including parents, educators in nurseries, pre-schools and childminders. And of course, it is vitally important to consider the needs of children with additional needs, such as disability or on-going health conditions.

A thread throughout the course will be the need to be aware of and sensitive to, the individual situations of children and families and the factors that can influence health beliefs and practices.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.