Newborn Parent Teaching
Parents must understand that infancy is a time of rapid growth and development. New parents may misinterpret many normal aspects of infant development as deviations from the norm. It is critical to emphasize that all infants do not develop at the same rate. If new parents are unaware of this, they may experience significant anxiety when comparing their infant to others who are developing faster. Teaching parents about normal infant development and the range of individual differences can help to alleviate unnecessary anxiety. Other common topics for infant development education include the importance of immunizations, infant stimulation, infant feeding, safety concerns, and teething.
Infant/toddler-Sensorimotor stage: The infant or toddler has no perception of illness and only a limited understanding of health and illness concepts.
The pre-schooler perceives illness as behavioral changes, cannot explain the illness’s cause, and may perceive illness as punishment.
School-age children-Concrete operations stage: Can describe illness in terms of multiple symptoms; believe disease transmission is primarily caused by physical contact with the source, e.g., “catching a cold from someone else.”
Adolescents-Formal operations stage: Adolescents understand many aspects of illness and treatment, internal organs/processes that may affect health/illness, and psychological processes’ influence on health and illness.