Merck Manual

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Introduction to Growth and Development

By

Evan G. Graber

, DO, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Last review/revision Apr 2021 | Modified Sep 2022
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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 month

  • Infant: 1 month to 1 year

  • Young child: 1 year through 4 years

  • Older child: 5 years through 10 years

  • Adolescent: 11 years through 17 to 19 years

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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
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