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Caregiving: Infants

  • By: Jennifer Rowe & Margaret Barnes
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

A good early start in life is essential for the health and well-being of infants and has influence through childhood and into adult years. Around the globe, infant mortality and illness are high in some countries, whereas in others, infants enjoy relatively good survival and health in the first year of life. The ability to promote infant health and well-being through care is central to good outcomes as examination of World Health Organization data demonstrates. Regardless of the diverse situations of families with an infant, there are universal care principles that promote optimal growth and development during the first year of life. The purpose of this entry's discussion is to identify these and to set out their essential features.

The Context of Infant Care

In the mid-20th ...

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