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Definitions of health in childhood recognise development alongside health as the state of ‘physical, mental, and social well-being’ identified by the World Health Organization. Children’s needs differ as they develop from infancy through childhood, adolescence, and the transition to adulthood. A developmental perspective is consistent with the salutogenic theory, which defines health as a resource for a productive and healthy life and the ability to adapt and to self-manage.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child asserts children’s rights to survive and develop healthily and to have a standard of living adequate for physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development. The health of children is also a key concern for families because of their personal attachments and children’s roles in biological reproduction (as ...

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