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CDC Milestone Tracker - Medical Application Analysis

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Is your child’s development on track for his or her age? Now you can find out with CDC’s new free Milestone Tracker app

The app makes it easy for parents to track, support, and celebrate their young child’s development.

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Every parent of a young child occasionally wonders if her little one is on schedule with his development. The CDC just introduced a new tool to help parents keep track of their young children’s development and open the conversation with their pediatricians to help them stay on course. The new Milestone Tracker app can help children and families get the services and support they need. It’s available for both Android and Apple products. The app is developed by the Learn the Signs. Act Early

campaign, which seeks to improve early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities, including ADHD. “It’s fun and easy for parents to track their child’s early development milestones,” says Julia Abercrombie, MPH, a behavioral scientist with the campaign. “It encourages parents and providers to learn the signs of early development and take action when there’s a concern.”

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Developmental surveillance is monitoring a child’s development over time to promote healthy development and identify children who may have developmental problems (Council on Children With Disabilities.). Anticipatory guidance helps parents anticipate the next developmental stage and manage developmentally appropriate behaviours (Dosman C, Andrews D. 2012). Office surveillance of child development is essential for early identification and treatment of developmental disorders; however, adequate training for this important triage task is lacking, especially in the cognitive and social-emotional sectors. Developmental milestones are specific skill attainments occurring in a predictable sequence over time, reflecting the interaction of the child’s developing neurological system with the environment. Skills can be grouped in sectors of development: gross motor, fine motor (including self-care), communication (speech, language and nonverbal), cognitive and social-emotional.

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On the whole, skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye-bye” are called developmental milestones. From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Parents and caregivers can use CDC’s tools to track developmental milestones from as early as 2 months to help better understand children’s abilities and stay in tune with their developmental health.

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Council on Children With Disabilities. Pediatrics. 2006;118:405–20.

Dosman C, Andrews D. Anticipatory guidance for cognitive and social-emotional development: Birth to 5 years. Paediatr Child Health. 2012;17:75–80.

Capute AJ, Accardo PJ, Vining EPG. Primitive Reflex Profile. Baltimore: University Park Press; 1978.

Piper MC, Darrah J. Motor Assessment of the Developing Infant. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company; 1994.

Rhea Paul. Language Disorders from Infancy Through Adolescence – Assessment and Intervention. 3rd edn. St Louis: Mosby Elsevier; 2007.

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