7 Physical Development in Early Childhood

After this chapter, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the physical changes that occur in early childhood.

  2. Explain how to provide health nutrition for 3- to 5-year-olds.

  3. Summarize how to support the progression of motor skills with age appropriate activities.

  4. Discuss the sleep needs during early childhood and sleep disorders that may affect children.

  5. Explain the development behind toilet training and some elimination disorders that children may experience.

  6. Recognize the importance of awareness of sexual development in early childhood.

  7. Discuss risks to and a variety of ways to promote and protect children’s health and safety.

During the early childhood years of three to five we see significant changes in the way children look, think, communicate, regulate their emotions, and interact with others. Children are often referred to as preschoolers during this time period. We’ll examine the physical changes of the preschooler in this chapter.

Two children walking across a bridge.^[[Image](https://unsplash.com/photos/DIZBFTl7c-A) by [Kevin Gent](https://unsplash.com/@kevinbgent) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/)]

Figure 7.1: Two children walking across a bridge.260