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Kids Care Tips



Developmental Milestones for Infants 0 to 1-year old

Cognitive development for your baby means the learning process of memory, language, thinking and reasoning. Your baby is learning to recognize the sound of your voice. She is also learning to focus her vision from the periphery or the corner of her eyes to the center. Language development is more than uttering sounds (“babble”), or mama/dada.

Listening, understanding, and knowing the names of people and things are all components of language development. During this stage, your baby is also developing bonds of love and trust with you. The way you cuddle, hold, and play with your baby will set the basis for how he will interact with you and others.

Positive Parenting

Child Safety First

Now that your newborn is at home, it is time to make sure that your home is a safe place. Look around your home for household items that might present a possible danger to your baby. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that you create a safe environment for your baby. It is also important that you take the necessary steps to make sure that you are mentally and emotionally ready for your new baby. Here are a few tips to keep your baby safe during her first year of life.

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Developmental Milestones for Toddlers 1-2 years old

During this time, your child is becoming increasingly more mobile, and aware of himself and his surroundings. Her desire to explore new objects and people is also increasing. During this stage, your toddler will show greater independence, begin to show defiant behavior, recognize himself in pictures or a mirror, and imitate the behavior of others, especially adults and older children.

Your toddler will also be able to recognize names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions.

Positive Parenting

Child Safety First

As your child is becoming increasingly mobile, his ability to encounter more dangers is increasing as well. Here are a few recommendations to help keep your growing toddler safe.



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Developmental Milestones for Toddlers 2-3 years old

Because of your child’s growing desire to assert her independence, this stage is often called the “terrible twos.” However, this can be an exciting time for you and your toddler. He will experience huge intellectual, social, and emotional changes that will help him to explore his new world, and make sense of it.

During this stage, your toddler will be able to follow two- or three-phrase commands, sort objects by shape and color, imitate the actions of adults and playmates, and express a wide range of emotions.

Positive Parenting

Child Safety First

Encourage your toddler to sit when eating and to chew her food thoroughly.

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Developmental Milestones for Preschoolers 3-5 years old

As your child grows into early childhood, his world will begin to open up. She will become more independent and begin to focus more on adults and children outside of the family. He will want to explore and ask about his surroundings even more.

Her interactions with family and those around her will help to shape her personality and individual ways of thinking and moving. During this stage your child will be able to ride a tricycle, use safety scissors, show awareness of gender identity, help to dress and undress himself, play with other children, recall part of a story, and sing a song.

Positive Parenting

Child Safety First

As your child becomes more independent and increases her interaction with the outside world, it is important that you and your child are aware of ways to stay safe. Here are a few ways to protect your child.

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Developmental Milestones for Middle Childhood 6-8 years old

Middle childhood brings many changes to a child’s life. By this time, children can dress themselves, catch a ball more easily with only their hands, and tie their shoes. Developing independence from family becomes more important now. Events such as starting school bring children this age into regular contact with the larger world. Friendships become more and more important. Physical, social, and mental skills develop rapidly at this time. This is a critical time for children to develop confidence in all areas of life, such as through friends, schoolwork, and sports.

Here are some changes your child may go through during middle childhood:

Emotional/Social Changes

Mental/Cognitive Changes

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Child Safety First

More physical ability and more independence can put children at risk for injuries from falls and other accidents. Motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of death from unintentional injury among children this age.



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Developmental Milestones for Middle Childhood 9-11 years old

Your child’s growing independence from the family and interest in friends might be obvious by now. Healthy friendships are very important to your child’s development, but peer pressure can become strong during this time. Children who feel good about themselves are more able to resist negative peer pressure and make better choices for themselves. This is an important time for children to gain a sense of responsibility along with their growing independence. Also, physical changes of puberty might be showing by now, especially for girls. Another big change children need to prepare for during this time is starting middle or junior high school.

During this time, your child might:

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You can help your child become independent, while building his or her sense of responsibility and self-confidence at the same time. Here are some suggestions:

Child Safety First

More independence and less adult supervision can put children at risk for injuries from falls and other accidents. Motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of death from unintentional injury among children of this age.

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Developmental Milestones for Early Adolescence (12-14 years old

Early adolescence is a time of many physical, mental, emotional, and social changes. Hormones change as puberty begins. Boys grow facial and pubic hair and their voices deepen. Girls grow pubic hair and breasts, and start menstruating. They might be worried about these changes and how they are looked at by others. This will also be a time when your teenager might face peer pressure to use alcohol, tobacco products, and drugs, and to have sex. Other challenges can be eating disorders, depression and family problems.

At this age, teens make more of their own choices about friends, sports, studying, and school. They become more independent, with their own personality and interests. Some changes younger teens go through are:

Emotional/Social Changes

Mental/Cognitive Changes

Positive Parenting

Trust is important for teenagers. Even as she develops independence, she will need to know she has your support. At the same time, she will need you to respect her need for privacy.

Child Safety First

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 12 to 14 year olds. Injuries from sports and other activities are also common.

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Developmental Milestones for Middle Adolescence 15-17 years old

Middle adolescence is a time of physical, mental, cognitive, and sexual changes for your teenager. Most girls will be physically mature by now, and most will have completed puberty. Boys might still be maturing physically during this time. Your teenager might have concerns about her body size, shape, or weight. Eating disorders can also be common, especially among females. During this phase of development, your teenager is developing his unique personality and opinions. Peer relationships are still important, yet your teenager will have other interests as he develops a more clear sense of identity. Middle adolescence is also an important time to prepare for more independence and responsibility; many teenagers start working, and many will be leaving home soon after high school.

Other changes you might notice in your teenager include:

Emotional/Social Changes

Mental/Cognitive Changes

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Safety First

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death from unintentional injury among teenagers, yet few teenagers take measures to reduce their risk of injury. Unintentional injuries resulting from participation in sports and other activities are also common.

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Links for Parents

The American Academy of Pediatrics has brochures, fact sheets, and other information on various health topics for parents with children of all ages.

CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health has a Healthy Youth! webpage that addresses six critical types of adolescent health behavior that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among adults and youth. The website’s A to Z list addresses other issues that affect children and adolescents.

The National Center on Injury Prevention and Control at CDC has a website that contains information like youth violence, suicide, teen drivers, sexual violence, and other injury-related topics.

KidsHealth by the Nemours Foundation has practical information for parents, teens, and kids.

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has fact sheets for parents on various issues related to child and adolescent development.

Talk With Your Kids is a national initiative by Children Now and the Kaiser Family Foundation to encourage parents to talk with their children early and often about tough issues like sex, HIV/AIDS, violence, and alcohol and drug abuse.

The National Institute of Mental Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have information and resources on child and adolescent mental health.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has information on safety recalls, and safety tips for children riding in motor vehicles, walking, biking, playing outside, waiting at school bus stops, and more.