In the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, tissues, organs and systems of the future child are being induced, differentiated and put into place.The remaining 30 weeks of gestation are devoted to growth, development and refinement.
At around 20 days a sheet of cells called the neural plate have evolved from the ectoderm, along the length of the structure. In less than 4 weeks the ends of the tube have closed and differentiated into head and spinal chord. By week 8 the frontal lobes have formed, followed by the parietal and concurrently the occipital and temporal lobes.
The remaining key brain development stages of gestation are given to further rapid growth, development and organisational refinement. Synapses are formed at a very rapid rate during early months of life, usually achieving maximum density between 6 and 12 months after birth. Brain imaging studies have demonstrated that early stimulation will enhance cognitive function, whereas lack of early stimulation correspondingly leads to loss of brain function.
In this post we will be exploring our first KSA from the ASWB bachelor’s social work licensure exam. At 3 months, the child should be able to hold up their head for prolonged periods, as well as make vowel noises, and have the ability to turn their head from side to side, or follow an object. For the social work exam, you should know that at 5 months, you should see the child begin to enjoy vocal play, and begin to grasp for objects. Physically, between 1-4 months of age, the child should be gaining about 100 grams per week in weight (in case the social work exam has a question about it). As noted in previous Report Cards (2001, 2003, and 2004), stringent regulations on industrial and vehicle emissions have allowed the South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) to make tremendous improvements in air quality over the past 30 years. This article focuses on health effects that ambient and traffic related air pollution has on pregnant women, their infants, and young children. The time between conception and birth is perhaps one of the most vulnerable life stages, during which the environment may have tremendous immediate and lasting effects on health. Early childhood is also a critical period for the continued development and maturation of several biological systems such as the brain, lung, and immune system and air toxics can impair lung function and neurodevelopment, or exacerbate existing conditions, such as asthma (Figure 2).
Exactly what compounds in the ambient air most affect reproductive and children's health, and how these exposures result in restricted fetal growth, early parturition, and development of respiratory diseases remains largely unknown. A seminal paper published in 1977 by researchers in Los Angeles was the first to describe a possible association between air pollution at atmospheric levels and reduced birth weight. Mothers exposed to high levels of CO and particles during pregnancy are at higher risk of adverse birth outcomes, including preterm delivery, low birth weight, and congenital heart defects. In Los Angeles, we found that air pollution caused by traffic disproportionately affected women in low-income and disadvantaged neighborhoods. Michelle Wilhelm is an Assistant Professor In Residence in the Department of Epidemiology and member of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, UCLA. The stages of intellectual development formulated by Piaget appear to be related to major developments in brain growth.
Reflexive behaviors occur in stereotyped repetition such as opening and closing fingers repetitively. Repetition of change actions to reproduce interesting consequences such as kicking one’s feet to more a mobile suspended over the crib. Discovery of new ways to produce the same consequence or obtain the same goal such as the infant may pull a pillow toward him in an attempt to get a toy resting on it. Class logic-finding bases to sort unlike objects into logical groups where previously it was on superficial perceived attribute such as color.

In less than a week, this will have formed into a tube by curling back on itself and fusing.
As each child is born with 100 billion neurons, they are being produced at about 250,000 per minute during the 9 pregnancy months. The head end starts to show the swellings of the fore, mid and hind vesicles, which as shown above evolve into the main segments of the adult brain.
During the 3rd month neural circuits proliferate and synapses establish; the fetus will be 75 mm in length. The cerebral hemispheres now cover the whole top and sides of the mid and hind brain and almost a full complement of neurons is present within the central nervous system.
The whole nervous system will increase its connections with the brain which will receive more sensory input and give more motor control. The very beginnings of the central nervous system are already apparent at 3 weeks after fertilisation.
At 1 year the child should be able to stand by holding on to supports, and should be able to stand unsupported for a brief period time. I will offer some additional physical developmental and motor development milestones that will be important to know. The study of air pollution's impact on reproductive outcomes is still a developing area of science with many important questions unanswered, but more evidence is emerging that air pollution exposures in pregnancy and early childhood put children at higher risk of adverse health outcomes. In fact, in one study, we linked residential traffic density to preterm and LBW which provides further evidence that traffic exhaust may be particularly important. Air pollution exposure during early pregnancy may interfere with placental development and subsequent oxygen and nutrient delivery to the fetus throughout pregnancy, while the last trimester is important for fetal weight gain. Vehicle exhaust also contains very small or ultra fine particles (UFP), which have a high surface area. CO is directly emitted by vehicle tailpipes and concentrations of this pollutant are elevated closer to heavy traffic roadways.
Ambient air pollution and adverse birth outcomes: Methodologic issues in an emerging field. The human brain is not fully developed until late adolescence or in the case of males sometimes early adulthood. There is the ability to perform multiple classification tasks, order objects in a logical sequence, and comprehend the principle of conservation. The ability to generate abstract propositions, multiple hypotheses and their possible outcomes is evident. This is the neural tube, that within 3 weeks of fertilisation has formed the basis of the entire nervous system. Cerebral hemispheres, marked in yellow, become apparent in around the 5th week, which then grow up and back on themselves over the mid brain and eventually parts of the hind brain.
Because we are focused on physical growth, this post will mostly explore the various stages of child development. The next occurs at 6-8 weeks, and involves the child beginning to vocalize with various sounds.
Walking should be more fully developed by 18 months of age, and the child should be able to walk alone, without supervision or support. By their first birthday, the child should have grown to be about 1.5 times the length that they were at birth. I hope that you learned something from our first KSA post, and I assure you that there will be a lot more information coming your way in the future.

However, studies of air pollution's effect on SIDS to date are equivocal[2], while results for particulate matter and respiratory infant mortality are fairly consistent and further supported by the strong and well established link between particles and adult mortality. But CO is not known to have any inflammatory effects in the lung, thus, we hypothesize that CO could be acting as a marker for other toxins in vehicles exhaust such as UFP and PAHs.
Wilhelm's research focuses on the impact of environmental exposures, particularly air pollution, on perinatal and early childhood health. However, there is still a tendency to focus attention on one aspect of an object while ignoring others. After birth, increase in brain weight is due to increase in size of neurons and increase in amount of supporting glial cells, insulating myelin and synapses. And finally in the early months of life the total number of synapses can reduce through lack of use. We will be exploring the various developmental milestones that are important to keep in mind.
Movement should be further enhanced by the age of 2 years, and the child should be able to run or walk up stairs. At 2 years, the child should be approximately 4 times the original birth weight, and should be about 33-37 inches long. Do you think that it would be more helpful to learn atypical physical development at the same time? These studies nevertheless have not been able to identify the specific components of particulate matter, nor elucidate the mechanism by which these pollutants affect health in children and infants, which may be different from adults. PAHs may also interfere with placental development and fetal growth early in pregnancy, but more studies are needed to understand the mechanisms that can cause this to happen. She published the first study examining associations between residential proximity to traffic during pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes and is particularly interested in how Geographic Information Systems and other novel approaches such as biomarkers can be used to estimate exposure to traffic generated air pollution in large epidemiologic studies. It is important that parents know what to expect from their child as they develop and to be sure that the expectations they may have for their child at a given age are realistic.
This simply means that the child is able to recognize their hand, and will follow it with their eyes. In addition to her work on birth outcomes, she is also currently involved in several studies concerning air pollution and exacerbation of asthma in Californian children.
Problems at later stages of pregnancy will more likely result in failure of growth, development or refinement. Please comment, I would love to see what I could do better, or hear from you if you are finding my posts helpful. He was a developmental biologist who devoted his life to closely observing and recording the intellectual abilities of infants, children and adolescents. Perceptions dominate judgment.In moral-ethical realm, the child is not able to show principles underlying best behavior. She currently teaches courses in Environmental, Occupational and Reproductive Epidemiology in the School of Public Health, in addition to working on her research.

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