Assignment: Stages of Development
School-age children include those between the ages of 5 to 12 years, also referred to as middle childhood. The school-age child’s growth presents with gradual growth and development with notable differences in weight, height, and body build (Riley, Morrison & McEvoy, 2019). Besides, language skills continue to develop, and most behavior changes occur as they strive to find their place among their peers. In this regard, this paper will describe the physical assessment of school-aged children, including the typical developmental stages of a child 12-year-old child, and apply the Piaget theory to assess a school-age child developmentally.
Physical Assessments among School-Aged Children
Physical assessment of school-age children is similar in that the examiner applies the four techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation when conducting a head-to-toe exam. The examiner begins the physical exam by taking vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and temperature (Riley et al., 2019). However, the blood pressure cuff differs based on the child’s age and size. The height and weight are taken and plotted against a growth graph to assess the child’s nutritional status. Additionally, the general appearance of the school-age child is documented, which includes the hygiene status, dressing, signs of neglect, and mannerism (Riley et al., 2019). The examiner also assesses the child for physical signs of abuse since school-aged children are vulnerable to abuse. Assessment of the reproductive system varies among school-aged children based on age. Children above ten years are assessed for secondary sexual characteristics, including breast growth and pubic hair, which is not the case for those below ten years (Riley et al., 2019). Physical assessments of school-age children also entail dental and vision screening to assess dental cavities and visual defects.
For a child aged 5-10 years, I would use a simple drape over their underpants or a colorful examination gown and cover the parts not being assessed to maintain privacy. Fr the younger child, I would conduct the exam in the caregiver’s presence to relieve anxiety and promote cooperation (Riley et al., 2019). However, examination of the older child would be performed in the caregiver’s absence to maintain privacy. Furthermore, I would start with the least distressful exam procedures and end with the most distressful and body parts associated with pain.
Typical Developmental Stages of a 12-Year-Old Child
A 12-year-old is characterized by numerous physical, cognitive, emotional, and social changes. Physical changes include the development of secondary sexual characteristics attributed to hormonal changes. Most males grow facial and pubic hair, and the voices deepen while most females grow pubic hair and breasts and start their menstruation (Sawyer et al., 2018). At 12 years, the child enjoys all physical activities and continues to improve their motor coordination. Cognitive changes include demonstrating an increased ability for complex thought and express feelings through talking (Sawyer et al., 2018). The child also develops a stronger sense of right and wrong. Emotional and social changes include expressing more concern about body image, looks, and clothes and experiencing more moodiness. Besides, 12-year-olds tend to focus on themselves, going back and forth between high expectations and lack of confidence (Sawyer et al., 2018). They also show more interest in and influence by peer group but express less affection toward parents and at times might seem rude or short-tempered.
Applying Piaget Developmental Theory to Developmentally Assess the Child
The school-age child falls in the concrete operational stage of Piaget’s cognitive development. The stage is characterized by more logical and methodical manipulation of symbols (Babakr et al., 2019). The child is less egocentric and more aware of the outside world and events. They are also able to function on a higher level in their mental ability. I would developmentally assess a child using the Piaget theory by giving the child a fictional problem or scenario and asking them to solve it (Babakr et al., 2019). I will assess if the child can solve the problem without physically encountering it in the real world.
During the assessment, I would offer explanations using simple terms and language in line with the child’s cognitive developmental stage. I would also answer questions openly and in simple terms and ask the child questions to establish trust and promote cooperation (Riley et al., 2019). Besides, I will explain the assessment procedures to the child using simple terms before beginning the exam to promote cooperation and alleviate anxiety. I would also inform the child of the painful or distressing procedures to prepare them psychologically and increase their cooperation (Riley et al., 2019). After the assessment, I will explain to the child of the abnormal findings, possible causes for these findings, and any diagnostic procedures that will be required.
The physical assessment of the school-age child follows the head-to-toe approach and uses the basic examination techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. The assessment should include taking vital signs, height and weight, general survey, dental and vision screening. Developmental stages of a 12-year-old include development of secondary sexual characteristics, increased cognitive capacity, and social and emotional changes. A school-aged child falls in the concrete operational stage in the Piaget theory and can be used to assess whether the child can function on a higher level in their mental ability.
Babakr, Z. H., Mohamedamin, P., & Kakamad, K. (2019). Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory: Critical Review. Education Quarterly Reviews, 2(3), 517-524.
Riley, M., Morrison, L., & McEvoy, A. (2019). Health Maintenance in School-Aged Children: Part I. History, Physical Examination, Screening, and Immunizations. American family physician, 100(4), 213-218.
Sawyer, S. M., Azzopardi, P. S., Wickremarathne, D., & Patton, G. C. (2018). The age of adolescence. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 2(3), 223-228. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642 (18)30022-1
The needs of the pediatric patient differ depending on age, as do the stages of development and the expected assessment findings for each stage. In a 500-750-word paper, examine the needs of a school-aged child between the ages of 5 and 12 years old and discuss the following:
Compare the physical assessments among school-aged children. Describe how you would modify assessment techniques to match the age and developmental stage of the child.
Choose a child between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Identify the age of the child and describe the typical developmental stages of children that age.
Applying developmental theory based on Erickson, Piaget, or Kohlberg, explain how you would developmentally assess the child. Include how you would offer explanations during the assessment, strategies you would use to gain cooperation, and potential findings from the assessment.
Please use the following link for reference: https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs434vn/health-assessment-foundations-for-effective-practice/v1.1/#/chapter/2
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Assignment: Stages of Development