Oral health- dental caries is the most common chronic disease in childhood
Early childhood caries is a preventable disease, and nurses play an essential role in educating children and parents about practicing dental hygiene, beginning with the first tooth eruption; drinking fluoridated water, including bottled water; and instituting early dental preventive care.
Obesity & Type 2 DM
The most common nutritional problem among children in the United States
Overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and below the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex.
Lack of physical activity related to limited resources, unsafe environments, and inconvenient play and exercise facilities, combined with easy access to television and video games, increases the incidence of obesity among low-income minority children.
Most common cause of death & disability in children
Preponderance of males; difference mainly the result of behavioral characteristics, especially aggression
Children with difficult temperament profile, especially persistence, high activity level, and negative reactions to new situations
Predisposes children to increased risk-taking and self-destructive behavior; general lack of self-protection
Alcohol and drug use
Associated with higher incidence of motor vehicle injuries, drownings, homicides, and suicides
History of previous injury
Associated with increased likelihood of another injury, especially if initial injury required hospitalization
Mismatch between child’s developmental level and skill required for activity (e.g., all-terrain vehicles)
Natural curiosity to explore environment
Desire to assert self and challenge rules
In older child, desire for peer approval and acceptance
Cognitive characteristics (age-specific)
Sensorimotor: explores environment through taste and touch
Object permanence: actively searches for attractive object; cause and effect: lacks awareness of consequential dangers; transductive reasoning: may fail to learn from experiences (e.g., perceives falling from a step as a different type of danger from climbing a tree); magical and egocentric thinking: is unable to comprehend danger to self or others
Transitional cognitive processes: is unable to fully comprehend causal relationships; attempts dangerous acts without detailed planning regarding consequences
Formal operations: is preoccupied with abstract thinking and loses sight of reality; may lead to feeling of invulnerability
Anatomic characteristics (especially in young children)
Predisposes to cranial injury
Large spleen and liver with wide costal arch—
Predisposes to direct trauma to these organs
Small and light body
May be thrown easily, especially inside a moving vehicle
Poverty, family stress (e.g., maternal illness, recent environmental change), substandard alternative child care, young maternal age, low maternal education, multiple siblings
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death; Children left unattended are unsafe even in shallow water
Burns are among the top three leading causes of death from injury in children 1 to 14 years of age
Improper use of firearms is the fourth leading cause of death from injury in children 5 to 14 years of age
Strikingly higher homicide rates are found among minority populations, especially African-American children.
Violence seems to permeate US households through television programs, commercials, video games, and movies, all of which tend to desensitize the child toward violence.
Families that own firearms must be educated about their safe use and storage.
This is a serious problem and can involve emotional, physical, verbal, and cyber-related abuse
When youth are not well accepted by their peers, they are vulnerable to bullying; physical disabilities, obesity, and sexual orientation can be risk factors creating vulnerability.
Mental health problems
Nurses should be alert to the symptoms of mental illness and potential suicidal ideation and be aware of potential resources for high-quality integrated mental health services.