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Introduction to Growth and Development

By Evan G. Graber, DO, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics; Pediatric Endocrinologist, Sydney Kimmel Medical College; Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

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Physical growth is an increase in size. Development is growth in function and capability. Both processes highly depend on genetic, nutritional, and environmental factors.

As children develop physiologically and emotionally, it is useful to define certain age-based groups. The following terminology is used:

  • Neonate (newborn): Birth to 1 mo

  • Infant: 1 mo to 1 yr

  • Young child: 1 yr through 4 yr

  • Older child: 5 yr through 10 yr

  • Adolescent: 11 yr through 17 to 19 yr