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causes of ill health in children

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Child Health- Task 2 Jodie Bloomer There are many causes and types of illness in children. These include- accidents, disease, genetics, environmental, microbes, lifestyle, and abuse or neglect. Causative factors are commonly classed as factors caused before birth (antenatal), during birth (perinatal), and after birth (postnatal). Before birth, or antenatal factors include hereditary, and health and lifestyle issues of the mother, such as smoking, diet, infections, gas or chemical inhalation, substance use and the mother's age. Hereditary factors are caused through genetics and are passed from one, or both of the parents to the child, or in some cases they can miss a generation so the parents may be healthy but the baby could be born with a disorder or medical condition with special needs. Examples of hereditary disorders are- Spina Bifida (a neural tube defect), Cystic Fibrosis (affects the respiratory and digestive systems), Sickle-cell Anaemia (an inherited blood disorder), and Down's syndrome (a chromosomal disorder). Health and lifestyle issues before birth can be causes of illness and Carolyn Meggitt states, "preconceptual care involves both partners cutting known risks before trying to conceive, so that they can create the best conditions for the embryo to grow and develop into a healthy baby." ...read more.


(Meggitt, C. 2001. p.15). The mother's age is also a causative factors before birth of childhood illness as "first-time mother's over the age of 35 run a risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality." (Meggitt, C. 2001. p.13). These include Down's syndrome. It is also more likely for there to be problems if it is a woman's first pregnancy, for example neural tube defects and pre-eclampsia which could cause harm to the baby. After birth, or postnatal factors that could cause illness in children include accidents, lifestyle and poverty, and abuse and neglect. Penny Tassoni states, "according to Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), an estimated 10,000 children a year are left disabled as a result of accidents." (Tassoni, P. et Al. 2002. p.175). For example, a child may fall down the stairs or off a trampoline and could get a brain injury. Or a child could be involved in an accident that results in a sensory impairment. Minor accidents could also cause illness and could result in the child having time off school. "Many of the factors which adversely affect child health are closely interrelated, and can be seen as a cycle of deprivation. ...read more.


Health promotion is a form of health education which can teach people the importance of health and safety and ways to avoid bad health. All of the health educators use education as a tool to help people understand, this may be through 1-1 conversations, using facts and statistics, giving written information sheets, or by supplying people with books or websites, etc where they can find out information themselves. Health promotion programmes are commonplace in today's society. These aim to educate people and change their views and attitudes, in order to protect their health and the health of those around them, in particular, children. To prevent illness as a result of accidents safety measures should be in place, such as fire guards and stair gates. These can help prevent accidents which can cause illness. Respiratory conditions could be prevented by parents not smoking around children, and by improving living conditions so that children do not live in damp housing. Providing children with a sensible diet will also help to prevent illness as they will receive the nutrients needed to fight viruses and bacteria in their immune systems. It is also necessary to talk to children and observe and record any odd behaviour or indicators of abuse as this could help prevent illness if it is recognised in time and the child is protected. ...read more.

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