Health of the nation is determined by the degree of children’s health. This is an indicator of the present and future of the public. These arguments are generally comprehensible and do not require an explanation. And for sensible parents this is also the main goal, an important component of family well-being. Therefore, it is relevant to find out what are the technologies for determining a healthy child and what the term itself means.
A common “portrait” of a healthy child consists of several points:
- He/she is benevolent, cheerful, and active;
- To the extent of his/her age he/she is fast, strong and clever enough;
- Positive emotions prevail in him/her, negative impressions are endured steadily and without serious consequences;
- He/she develops physically according to the established age criteria;
- The day regime also corresponds to the age, biological rhythms, the period of sleep and wakefulness is harmoniously chosen;
- Regular exercise and proper nutrition ensure absence of excess weight;
- Temperature changes, sharp deterioration of weather conditions are not cause for concern as thermoregulation is trained, he/she is weathered;
- He/she gets ill rarely, for short periods and without complications.
It is easy to understand from these general formulations that there are certain criteria for assessing health of children which relate both to physical and psychological development. Thanks to them it is possible to adequately assess a child’s ability to adapt to new conditions of life, to society, to determine the level of the general state of his/her health. The importance of this concept is confirmed by the fact that it is during this period that the foundation of the physical and psychological well-being of an adult, a member of the society, is laid.
The basic conditions for determining the general state of health during examination are the following four criteria for the children`s health:
1. The fact of presence or absence at the time of the examination of chronic or current diseases. In simple words, the child is sick, is in a borderline state or is healthy – different ARVI, allergic conditions, “a common runny nose”, etc.
2. The functional state of the main body systems is assessed. It’s about measuring pulse, frequency of breathing, blood pressure, eye and hearing examination. Sometimes the method of determining the vital lung capacity (VLC) – the amount of air exhaled after the deepest inhalation is used.
3. Ability to resist unfavorable external factors. Frequency of acute incidence is calculated throughout the year. A very good indicator is considered up to three times a year.
4. The level of physical development and its harmony is determined. That is the correspondence to the age norms of weight, height, head circumference, chest, etc.
In some cases (in case of children under three years old) the criteria for a comprehensive assessment of the health status of children include 2 more points:
1. Possible deviations in early ontogeny – pregnancy development, birth process and infant development during the first months of life. The possibility of the risk of hereditary and acquired diseases is estimated by collecting information about the parents, their social status.
2. The level of neuropsychological development of children is determined – the speech development, skills mastered, etc.
These methods of assessing health of children allow determining various deviations at an early stage. Therefore, timely and adequate response will allow selecting the optimal tactics of actions aimed at improving the well-being.
What are the criteria for assessing health status of children are needed for? After passing the examination and comparing the results obtained a certain classification and distribution into groups is carried out. These groups of children’s health have 5 options:
1. Healthy children without deviations in any of the criteria.
2. The most frequent group. There are no pronounced defects according to the described evaluation criteria but there are certain problems. These can be poor vision, overweight or lack of it, low growth. Children who are often ill with ARI are also referred to this group.
3. It includes children who have different chronic diseases. It is important that they are in a state of clinical remission, without frequent outbreaks of exacerbation and the functionality of such a child is preserved or compensated. The process of learning or working is not difficult.
4. These are children who have chronic illnesses in an active stage or with frequent relapses, requiring constant therapeutic treatment. This group also includes children with physical disabilities or traumas which to a certain extent restrict the process of education or work.
5. The worst group. It includes children with disabilities, children with severe chronic illnesses who have virtually no remissions and who have significantly reduced functional capacity.
Distribution of children in a particular group is carried out by a specialist only after making diagnoses and conducting an examination with other highly specialized doctors. Groups of children’s health are a kind of scale that regulates behavior and determines the tactics of action aimed at maintaining or improving well-being.
Health of children is laid in the womb and even earlier. It is important to understand that parents’ lifestyle directly affects children’s health. It is necessary to properly arrange antenatal protection of the child’s health even before his/her birth and then timely and adequate support of the young mother in the early and late neonatal periods.
Parents should be informed that unbalanced nutrition, poor hygiene, lack of normal physical activity, full sleep are factors that negatively affect health of the child.
Harm to the child’s health is also caused by a bad climate in the family. It has been established that children in constant stress, depression and fear have not only problems of a psychological nature but also frequent real functional deviations – they are much more likely to get sick for no apparent reason.
A child is happiness. A healthy child is the greatest good. But the health of the child is work that parents should perform as qualitatively and responsibly as possible.