Health and Development (EM)

“Every step you take is a step away from where you used to be.” — Author:   Brian Chargualaf

Middle school students experience a rapid acceleration in growth patterns. For example, the bones lengthen, muscles increase in strength and coordination, glands begin to produce hormones causing sexual changes known as puberty. These changes create a growth spurt in which height increases, body breadth and depth increases, and the heart and lungs grow to adult sizes. Some challenges during this growth spurt are:

  • The changes that occur in adolescence are as rapid as that of early childhood.
  • During this period the child gains about 20% of adult height and 50% of weight.
  • Most of this height will be gained during the 18-24 month “growth spurt.”
  • This “growth spurt” occurs at different ages for different individuals, generally occurring in girls earlier than in boys.

Recommended Visits to Doctor

  • Well-child checkups and immunizations: 10 years, 12 years, 14 years
  • Early identification of problems – Slow or rapid growth, inappropriate weight for height, maltreatment, delays, vision, hearing, scoliosis (abnormal curves in back), blood pressure, language, acute and chronic diseases, mental health issues

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