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Risk Factors


Children develop at different rates and in different ways. These differences in development may be related to personality, temperament, and/or experiences. Some children also may have health needs that affect their development.

The first five years are critical ones in a child’s life. The sooner a concern is identified, the sooner a child and family can receive specialized services to support growth and development. Parents, family members, and caregivers may have concerns about a child’s development and should seek help when needed. It is always a good idea for families to discuss any questions they may have with the child’s doctor. Caregivers should discuss concerns with families to see how best to support them.

  • Preamaturity or low birth weight
  • Vision or hearing difficulties
  • Prenatal exposure or other tpes of exposure to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
  • Poor nutrition or difficulty eating (lack of nutritious foods, vitamins, proteins, or iron in diet)
  • Exposure to lead-based paint (licking, eating or sucking on lead-base painted doors, floors, furniture, toys, etc.)
  • Environmental factors such as abuse or neglect

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