Health Information

Growth and Development

  • Vision Overview
  • The Growing Child: 10 to 12 Months

    Your child can now says da-da and ma-ma, and possibly two other words, as well. He or she can also make a simple gesture such as shaking the head.

  • The Growing Child: 1 to 3 Months

    At this stage of growth, your baby will gain 1-1/2 to 2 pounds in weight and more than an inch in height each month.

  • The Growing Child: 4 to 6 Months

    This age is very social, and babies begin moving in much more purposeful ways.

  • The Growing Child: 7 to 9 Months

    A baby of this age rolls over easily from front to back and back to front, and bounces when supported to stand.

  • Age-Appropriate Speech and Hearing Milestones

    A hearing problem may be suspected in a child who is not responding to sounds or who is not developing language skills appropriately.

  • Age-Appropriate Speech and Language Milestones

    Here are guidelines on speech and language development that may help you decide if your child is experiencing hearing problems.

  • Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children

    ADHD is a behavior disorder marked by inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity.

  • Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)

    Detailed information on adolescence, ages 13 to 18 years

  • The Growing Child: Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)

    Adolescence is a time for growth spurts and puberty changes. Sexual maturation may occur gradually or several signs may become visible at the same time.

  • Anatomy of the Female Pelvic Area

    Detailed anatomical description of the female pelvis, including simple definitions and labeled, full-color illustrations

  • Amenorrhea in Teens

    Amenorrhea is a menstrual condition in which a woman's menstrual periods are absent for more than three monthly cycles. Pregnancy is one possible cause of amenorrhea.

  • Anorexia Nervosa in Children

    Anorexia nervosa (AN) is eating disorder that is a form of self-starvation. A child or teen with AN has abnormally low body weight, a distorted body image, and an intense fear of gaining weight.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

    A child with autism appears to live in his or her own world, showing little interest in others and a lack of social awareness.

  • Biting

    Young children may bite others out of frustration or stress, or because they feel powerless. Infants and toddlers often bite as a way of exploring their world.

  • Nursing Bottle Caries

    Did you know that babies can get cavities? They can—usually when they go to bed with a bottle filled with milk or juice. Find out how to prevent this type of tooth decay, which is also called nursing bottle caries.

  • Orthodontics/Braces for Children

    Orthodontics is the dental specialty that focuses on the development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws.

  • Breast Conditions

    Some breast changes or conditions are related to a young woman's menstrual cycle, but others may occur at any time. Most breast conditions are benign.

  • Breast Health and Adolescents

    Detailed information on breast health for children

  • Brushing and Toothpaste for Children

    You should begin brushing your child's teeth around 24 months of age, or as directed by your child's doctor. Children will need help brushing their teeth until they are 7 to 8 years old.

  • Common Dental Problems and Concerns

    Detailed information on common dental problems and concerns in children

  • Varicella (Chickenpox)

    Chickenpox is a very common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but can be serious, especially in young infants and adults.

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis (Cradle Cap)

    Cradle cap can occur on the scalp, diaper area, face, neck, and trunk. Symptoms include dry or greasy scales.

  • Newborn Crying

    Crying is the way babies communicate. They cry because of hunger, discomfort, frustration, fatigue, and even loneliness.

  • Dental Health and Children

    Detailed information on dental health in children

  • Dental Health Overview

    Generally, dental examinations and cleanings are recommended every six months for children. Encourage good oral hygiene at home by helping your child brush his or her own teeth.

  • Dental Procedures for Children

    Detailed information on the most common dental procedures, including braces, bleaching, bridges, dentures, dental implants, fillings, root canal, sealants, and wisdom teeth extraction

  • Diarrhea in Children

    Diarrhea is defined either as watery stool or increased frequency of stool—or both—when compared with a normal amount. It is a common problem that may last a few days and disappear on its own.

  • Diapers/Diaper Rash

    You have two choices in diapers—cloth or disposable, and each type has advantages. You must decide which works best for your child and family.

  • Discipline

    Detailed information on disciplining a child, including information on time-out, temper tantrum, lying, stealing, and television and children

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP)

    Diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus are serious illnesses. A combination vaccine is given to babies and children to provide protection against all three diseases.

  • Exercise and Children

    Exercise is an important part of keeping children healthy. Encouraging healthy lifestyles in children and teens is important for when they grow older.

  • Feeding Guide for the First Year

    It's important to feed your baby a variety of healthy foods at the proper time. Solid foods should not be started before 4 months of age.

  • Fever in A Newborn

    Detailed information on fevers in children

  • Female Growth and Development

    Detailed information on female physical development

  • General Principles of Discipline

    Most children need to be given consistent, clear rules and expectations about behavior. Discipline needs to begin as soon as the child is mobile—pulling up and crawling.

  • Glossary - Growth and Development

    Glossary of terms relating to growth and development of children

  • The Growing Child

    Detailed information on the growth and development of a child

  • Gynecological Health

    Detailed information on gynecological health of a child

  • Gynecological Infections

    Detailed information on gynecological problems in a child

  • Recognizing Urologic or Gynecologic Problems

    Vaginal bleeding and discharge are a normal part of a teen girl's menstrual cycle. If your daughter notices anything different or unusual, talk with your teen's health care provider.

  • Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children

    An infant or young child who contracts hepatitis B is at greater risk of staying infected with the virus and of having life-long liver problems, such as scarring of the liver and liver cancer.

  • Healthy Diets Overview

    Eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and is something that should be taught to children at a young age.

  • Hearing Loss in Children

    Sensorineural hearing loss involves the inner ear or its connection with the brain. Conductive hearing loss involves the middle or outer ear.

  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib)

    Haemophilus influenzae type b is a serious bacterial disease that usually strikes children younger than 5. It is spread from person-to-person by coughing and sneezing.

  • Health Maintenance

    Detailed information on proper health maintenance for a child

  • Health Promotion and Common Problems

    Detailed information on health promotion and common health problems in children

  • Childhood Immunization Index

    Detailed information on immunizations for adults and children, including a current immunization schedule

  • Childhood Immunizations

    Your little one will need several immunization shots to help protect her from several childhood diseases, some of which can be deadly. Knowing which shots she needs, when, and what to do in the event of a minor reaction is important.

  • Home Page - Growth and Development

    Detailed information on proper health maintenance for a child

  • Infant

    Detailed information on infant health

  • Infant Nutrition

    Choosing how to feed your baby is an important decision that has life-long effects for your baby and for you.

  • Infant Sleep

    If you know anything about your baby’s sleeping pattern, it’s probably that it doesn’t coincide with yours. But learning more about your baby’s nighttime and daytime sleep needs can help you recognize what’s normal—and what’s not.

  • Infant Play

    Hang brightly colored objects near your newborn. Sing and talk to your baby. Rock your baby, and take him or her for walks.

  • Kyphosis in Children

    Detailed information on kyphosis, including cause, symptom, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Lying and Stealing

    Lying and stealing are common, but inappropriate, behaviors in school-aged children. Most of the time these behaviors will be outgrown.

  • Major Depression in Children

    Common symptoms of major depression include persistent feelings of sadness, sleep disturbances, and difficulty concentrating.

  • Care of the Uncircumcised Penis

    In an uncircumcised boy, the foreskin will begin to separate from the glans, or the tip of the penis. This happens naturally while the male is an infant. This is called foreskin retraction.

  • Physical Examination: Adolescent Male

    Detailed information on what males can expect during a physical examination

  • Measuring a Baby's Temperature

    Most physicians recommend taking a baby's temperature rectally, by placing a thermometer in the baby's anus. This method is accurate and gives a quick reading of the baby's internal temperature.

  • Male Growth and Development

    Detailed information on male growth and development

  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)

    The MMR vaccine is given in two doses—at 12 to 15 months and at 4 to 6 years, or at least one month after the first dose.

  • Mouthguards

    Mouthguards are important to help protect your child's mouth and teeth from serious injury.

  • The Growing Child: Newborn

    In the first month of life, babies usually catch up and surpass their birthweight, then steadily continue to gain weight.

  • Normal Breast Development

    Breast development occurs in distinct stages, first before birth, and again at puberty and during the childbearing years. Changes also occur to the breasts during menstruation and when a woman reaches menopause.

  • Nightmares and Night Terrors

    A night terror is a partial waking from sleep with behaviors such as screaming, kicking, panic, sleep walking, thrashing, or mumbling.

  • Nutrition Index

    Detailed nutrition information for mothers who are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, and toddlers, preschool-aged children, school-aged children, and adolescents

  • The Growing Child: 1-Year-Olds

    Your child is a toddler now and very active! He or she can climb stairs while holding on and play with push and pull toys.

  • Online Resources - Growth and Development

    List of online resources to find additional information on growth and development

  • Overview of Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents

    Mood disorders in teens remain one of the most under-diagnosed mental health problems. These disorders also put teens at risk for other conditions that may persist long after the initial episodes of depression are resolved.

  • Puberty: Adolescent Female

    Girls experience puberty as a sequence of events, and their pubertal changes usually begin before boys of the same age. The first pubertal change in girls usually is breast development.

  • Puberty: Adolescent Male

    Detailed information on puberty and the adolescent male

  • Stages of Play

    Children go through distinct stages of play as they grow. Each stage is critically important to the development of the next.

  • Play

    Detailed information on the stages of play for all ages

  • Pneumococcus

    Pneumococcus bacteria can cause serious illness in children, including pneumonia, infection in the blood, and meningitis.

  • Polio (IPV)

    The poliovirus destroys the nervous system, causing paralysis. Today, polio is extremely rare in the United States because of the polio vaccine. It's still common in other countries, though, so children still need to be immunized.

  • Preschool (4 to 5 Years)

    Detailed information on preschool-aged children, ages 4 to 5 years

  • The Growing Child: Preschool (4 to 5 Years)

    Children at this age begin to understand concepts and can compare abstract ideas.

  • Preschool Play

    A preschooler needs space in which to run and explore. Take him or her on trips to the playground, park, or beach. Encourage him or her to play with other children.

  • Safer Sex Guidelines for Adolescents

    The only safe sex is no sex, most health care providers say. But certain precautions and safe behaviors can minimize a person's risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

  • The Growing Child: School-Age (6 to 12 Years)

    Although friendships become more important at this age, children are still fond of their parents and like being part of a family.

  • School-Age (6 to 12 Years)

    Detailed information on the school-aged child, ages 6 to 12 years

  • Scoliosis in Children

    Detailed information on scoliosis, including types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Sealants

    Dental sealants are thin, plastic films painted on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. They are highly effective in preventing tooth decay.

  • Separation Anxiety

    Separation anxiety usually begins around 6 months of age. Babies may suddenly be afraid of familiar people such as babysitters or grandparents.

  • Topic Index - Growth and Development

    Detailed information on proper health maintenance for a child

  • Sleep

    Detailed information on healthy sleep habits of children, including information on nightmares and night terrors

  • Healthy Sleep Habits

    The normal amount of sleep varies depending on the age of your child. A 2-year-old needs 10 to 12 hours a night, plus naps during the day. By age 6, a child usually has dropped naps, but still needs 10 hours at night.

  • Signs of Problems in Speech, Language, and Hearing Development:

    Detailed information on speech, language, and hearing problems during development

  • School Refusal

    School phobia can be seen in young children going to school for the first time, in older children who fear a bully or mean teacher, and in children who are anxious about leaving their parents.

  • Stuttering

    Stuttering may occur in a child with normal developmental speech problems who is pressured to speak better. The child's struggle to improve speech actually makes the problem worse.

  • Anatomy and Development of the Mouth and Teeth

    Children's teeth begin developing in the fetus. Good nutrition from the mother during pregnancy is important in the development of the teeth.

  • Television and Children

    Detailed information on television and children, including suggestions for helping set good television viewing habits

  • Temper Tantrums

    These fits of rage—the stomping, screaming, and falling on the floor—are a normal part of childhood development. Temper tantrums often occur only with a parent. They are a way for the child to communicate his or her feelings.

  • The Growing Child: 3-Year-Olds

    Most 3-year-olds have lost the rounded tummy of a toddler. Your child can use a spoon well and can wash and dry his or her hands.

  • Failure to Thrive

    Failure to thrive means that a child is not growing as he or she should. Psychological, social, or economic problems within the family almost always play a role in this condition.

  • Thumb Sucking

    Thumb sucking is normal in infants and young children. It shouldn't cause any permanent problems if your child stops by age 5.

  • Time-Out

    Detailed information on child discipline and time-out

  • Toilet-Training

    Detailed information on toilet-training your child

  • Toddler

    Detailed information on toddler health

  • Toddler Play

    Ideas for toddler toys: a rocking horse, a shovel and a bucket, and toys that can be pushed or pulled.

  • The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds

    Speech at this age is becoming clearer. Your child has a vocabulary of 200 to 300 words and can tell his or her age and name.

  • Vision

    Detailed information on children with vision problems

  • Problems with Vision

    Eye disorders in children are either refractive or non-refractive errors. Refractive errors are those caused by the shape of the eye. Non-refractive errors are caused by disease.

  • Anatomy of the Breasts

    Each breast has 15 to 20 sections (lobes), which are arranged like the petals of a daisy. Each lobe has many smaller lobules, which end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk.

  • Menstrual Cycle: An Overview

    A woman is generally most fertile (able to become pregnant) a few days before, during, and after ovulation.

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    Women suffer more frequent and severe symptoms from STDs. Some STDs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to both infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

  • Vaginitis

    Vaginitis is a common problem for women of all ages. Bacteria, yeast, viruses, and chemicals in creams or sprays can cause it.

  • Vulvitis

    Vulvitis is an inflammation of the vulva, the soft folds of skin outside the vagina. It is a symptom of a host of diseases, infections, injuries, and allergies.

  • Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Children

    Detailed information on a wisdom teeth extraction procedure

  • Urinary Incontinence

    Enuresis is the medical term for bedwetting, or accidental urination in children who should be able to control their bladder. Girls usually have bladder control before boys do. The diagnosis of enuresis is for girls older than 5 and for boys older than 6.

  • Breast Self-Examination

    Become familiar with how your breasts usually look and feel so that you may notice any change from what is normal for you.

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder in Children

    Detailed information on persistent depressive disorder, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Eating Disorders in Children

    Detailed information on adolescents and eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, and obesity

  • Fillings

    Teeth that have tooth decay must be repaired. Advances in dental materials and techniques provide new, effective ways to restore teeth.

  • Flossing and Children

    Flossing should be started when your child is 2 to 3 years old, under the direction of your child's dentist. Children younger than 2 don't need to floss.

  • Fluoride and Children

    Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, strengthens tooth enamel, and reduces the harmful effects of plaque.

  • Gastrointestinal Problems

    If your baby seems fussy and you’ve fed and changed him, he may have an upset stomach or colic. But don’t worry, there are lots of things you can do to make your little one more comfortable and keep both of you calm.

  • Learning Disorders

    Learning disorders are sometimes called learning disabilities. Most children with learning disorders have normal intelligence, but they have difficulty with reading, math, or another academic area.

  • Mastalgia (Breast Pain)

    The most common type of breast pain is associated with the menstrual cycle and is nearly always hormonal.

  • Overview of the Male Anatomy

    The male reproductive anatomy includes the bladder, epididymis, penis, scrotum, and prostate gland.

  • Pap Test for Adolescents

    A Pap test, along with a pelvic examination, is an important part of a female's routine health care because it may detect abnormalities that can lead to invasive cancer.

  • Dysmenorrhea in Adolescents

    Dysmenorrhea is a menstrual condition marked by severe and frequent menstrual cramps and pain. Dysmenorrhea can be either lifelong or caused by another medical condition.

  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

    Most females experience some unpleasant or uncomfortable symptoms during their menstrual cycle. The type and intensity of symptoms vary.

  • Prevention of Oral Problems

    Detailed information on the prevention of oral diseases and dental problems

  • Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependence in Adolescents

    Substances frequently abused by adolescents include alcohol, marijuana, and amphetamines. Some teens are at higher risk of developing substance-related disorders.

  • Tooth Decay (Caries or Cavities) in Children

    Tooth decay first appears as white spots on the teeth. The cavity then turns a light brown color and progressively becomes darker.

  • Teething

    A baby's first tooth usually appears between 5 and 7 months of age. Often, the two middle bottom teeth come through the gums first, followed by the middle four upper teeth.

  • Bulimia Nervosa in Adolescents

    Bulimia nervosa is defined as uncontrolled episodes of overeating (bingeing) usually followed by self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, enemas, or medications in an attempt to control weight.

  • Bipolar Disorder in Adolescents

    Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is a type of affective disorder that goes beyond the day's ordinary ups and downs. It is becoming an important health concern in this country.

  • Preschooler Nutrition

    Preschool children are still developing their eating habits and need encouragement to eat healthy meals and snacks.

  • Healthy Eating During Adolescence

    Encourage your teen to eat three balanced meals a day, with fruits or vegetables as snacks.

  • School-Aged Child Nutrition

    Eating healthy after-school snacks is important at this age, as these snacks may contribute up to one-third of the total calorie intake for the day.

  • Toddler Nutrition

    Mealtime with a toddler can be challenging, because children at this age are striving for independence and control. It's best to provide structure and set limits.

  • Encopresis

    Detailed information on encopresis, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Fluency Disorder

    A person with fluency disorder has trouble speaking in a fluid or flowing way. They may repeat parts of words (stutter) or speak fast and jam words together (clutter).