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For proper development of the child, when he/she is four months old, apart from mother's milk, the child should be given some other foods like: pulses, khichri, boiled potato, banana, etc. These foods should be introduced in the diet one at a time.

What is the normal development of a child?

    A child's weight and length are used to measure its development. There are also other development milestones, listed in the table below. Within six months, an infant should double its weight. In one year, the infant's weight should increase three times. In case there is no such weight gain, the infant should be taken for a check-up to the nearest Health Centre. Infants who do not show regular growth in their weight generally suffer from malnutrition.  
The development process:

1-2 months Moves the eyes and responds to voice
3-4 months Has control over head and neck, smiles
4-5 months Turns over
6-8 months Sits, begins teething, crawls
12-18 months Walks, utters one syllable words
18-24 months Speaks in small sentences

    This development process can vary from one child to another. Malnutrition and prolonged illness can also affect the child’s development.

Initially, teething takes place in the lower jaw within the first 6 to 8 months.
  1. Two months later, four teeth appear in the upper jaw.
  2. In the span of one year, a child normally cuts six teeth.
  3. From the age of 6 to 15 months, the child starts putting things in its mouth. Care should be taken to ensure that the child does not put dirty things in the mouth, which may cause loose motions. Dangerous items and chemicals should be kept out of the reach of the child.
  4. In the first two and a half years, a child cuts around 20 teeth.
  5. You should begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as you are able to do so.

       Malnutrition in a child is the result of lack of food, or an unbalanced diet. The following are the characteristics of malnutrition:
  1. Hair becomes rough, lacklustre and may fall out.
  2. Skin becomes rough, dry and thick, especially on feet and lower portions of hands.
  3. Lack of proper food affects the eyes badly. Malnutrition makes the eyes dry, lustreless and colourless. This often happens with vitamin A deficiency.
  4. Corners of the lips develop small pimples or bristles, swelling and cracks.
  5. The tongue becomes painful and food has no taste. The tongue turns pink and develops cracks.
  6. Teeth become weak and may easily fall out. Teeth either turn brownish or off-white or sometimes develop an odd-colour.
  7. The entire body frame starts decaying. As a result, wrists become broad and the bones of the body either start bending or become soft.

       A complete course of vaccinations protects a child from six fatal diseases namely — Tetanus, Dyptheria, Polio, Whooping Cough, T.B. and Measles. Timely vaccination is recommended. These vaccines are available in health centres and are free of cost.

Vaccination programme:

       Except the D.P.T vaccine, no other vaccine hurts the child. D.P.T. vaccinations can cause fever. Doctors prescribe certain medicines for such fever.
       Tetanus, Polio, Dyptheria, Whooping Cough, T.B. and Measles are diseases which can be fatal. If the child survives, there is a risk that he/she may suffer permanent damage.

Vaccination Table

Vaccination Time of Dose Remarks
B.C.G One dose at the time of birth To be injected in the left arm
D.P.T. and Polio One dose at 1 1/2 months To be injected in the leg, and an intake of oral drops
D.P.T. and Polio One dose at 2 1/2 months To be injected in the leg, and an intake of oral drops
D.P.T. and Polio One dose at 3 1/2 months To be injected in the leg, and an intake of oral drops
Measles 9 months This injection will leave a permanent mark
DPT Booster and Polio Booster 18-24 months  
DPT Booster 5-6 years  
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