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

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Session 2: Patterns in young children’s health


How healthy a young child is might, at first glance, seem like an individual thing: the child’s genetics, making the child more susceptible to various illnesses and conditions, or the ‘luck of the draw’ in contracting an infection or disease. These are of course true to an extent. But the likelihood of young children suffering from ill-health follows identifiable patterns that are not simply related to the individual person. In Session 2, you will look at the patterns of young children’s health and ill-health across time, place and across groups living in different socioeconomic circumstances. How have we arrived at the current situation for young children’s health and illness? Exploring this question will help us to understand how we can play a part in supporting babies’ and young children’s health and wellbeing.

Session 2 has three sections. In Section 1 you will learn about children’s health since the 1870s and how it differs in high-, middle- and low- income countries. Section 2 explores the inequalities in health that have existed, and still exist, for young children socially and historically. Case studies bring to life what inequalities mean for families and children. In the final part, Section 3, we bring those patterns up to the present day to help you to understand the current health issues for babies and children, the risk factors involved and what can help protect babies’ and children’s health.