List three important facts health professionals need to communicate to the community about healthy child and adolescent development.
List three important facts that you can use to change your life or your family's or that you could use to help your friends or community.
In an attempt to create a well-rounded individual, health professionals have a significant role to play. They are trusted by adults and children and are, therefore in a position to offer a support role to children and adolescents who either do not have an adult role model or whose role model is not ideal.
Good nutrition is vital in the modern world and children and young people need adequate essential fats, vitamins and proteins, etc for optimum development. Awareness is important, especially in view of well-intended friends and family who are themselves misguided and provide incorrect information which confuses and disheartens young people.
A positive self-image is crucial and has far more of an impact than previously believed. Obesity and anorexia are common discussions between teens and tweens and any misunderstanding and also the influence of peer pressure can have catastrophic results.
Health professionals can therefore make literature available, have an open door policy, visit schools and encourage communication and offer advice. A friendly, non-judgmental ear can change a young, impressionable life forever!
Social development and the need to fit in cannot be overlooked. Children often develop symptoms such as stress, head aches, stomach pains, etc without any recognizable cause.They can be symptomatic of psychological difficulties which professionals can identify and help to provide support and an understanding of the underlying cause.
One of the problems for young people to grasp is "being different." Health professionals can help young people understand that we were all created equal but not the same. Children should be allowed to explore their environment without fear of name-calling and bullying and they are allowed to change their minds as many times as they want in the development of their personalities! Health professionals can contribute to this understanding by encouraging interaction and active communication.
Having confirmed that child and adolescent development is centered around the self image which is the
representation that everyone has of themselves, in physical as well as physiological, sociological, and mental terms
health professionals can change lives. Their own open-minded approach to a chlid's need for independence but at the same time security - a concept that continues to confuse parents and create conflict is most beneficial. Health professionals can therefore also talk to adults and help parents understand how to help their children through this essential growth phase.