By Dr. Arsha Kalra, Pediatrics
Initial years of a child are important for development, growth, and learning throughout life. There are some indicators, usually known as Red Flags, which marks the problems in the development process. These indicators are helpful in identifying if there is any need for an evaluation.
Red Flags act as a developmental screening to ensure the child’s correct development according to their age. Early identification and recognition of developmental obstructions make way for timely therapeutic services. Children with early therapeutic intervention are more likely to improve the developmental milestones.
In children, developmental delays are categorized as global or specific.
● Children with Specific Developmental Delay show a delay in a particular area of development like language or motor skills.
● Children with Global Developmental Delay show the delay in more than one developmental domain skill. Delay in one domain can disturb the skills of other domains too.
Red Flags -
Some milestones may signify a delay in development which can be long-lasting or require earlier intervention. Domains that benefit from the intervention are important for recognition, treatment, and overall healthy development of the child. According to various researches and studies, interventions in early-stage helps in better outcome of the developmental course.
Sometimes, behavioral patterns of the parents are Red Flags in the development of the child. There might be some signs in child-related to the difficult interaction with the family. These signs can be because parents are not able to recognize the signs, remain insensitive to the child’s communication, disregard the child or are easily annoyed, irritated or angered by the child.
Paediatrician provides the basic aid for parents and families in recognizing Red Flags which helps in planning a suitable treatment or management interventions for the development process. The development of a child is different in every stage and hence, it is important for the families and parents to recognize the stage and respective developmental milestones. If the child does not respond according to his/her age or long after the appropriate stage of development, then there definitely is some kind of developmental obstruction. These obstructions can be noted by signs such as child up to three months not responding to movements and noises, a child up to seven months not crawling or trying to stand, a child up to twelve months have not uttered any word, child up to twenty four months unable to perform simple tasks, child up to thirty six months failing to communicate properly, and such others.
Development is a natural progression in every child but the rate of it can differ depending on various factors. However, there are children who show some signs of obstruction in their developmental process. These indicators/signs, categorized strategically by experts, are known as Red Flags. It is the responsibility of the parents and family of the children to recognize these signs in their development. Early medical intervention helps these children to overcome and manage these problems so that the development can progress naturally.