Fundamentals of Children and Young People's Anatomy and Physiology
eBook - ePub

Fundamentals of Children and Young People's Anatomy and Physiology

A Textbook for Nursing and Healthcare Students

Ian Peate, Elizabeth Gormley-Fleming, Ian Peate, Elizabeth Gormley-Fleming

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eBook - ePub

Fundamentals of Children and Young People's Anatomy and Physiology

A Textbook for Nursing and Healthcare Students

Ian Peate, Elizabeth Gormley-Fleming, Ian Peate, Elizabeth Gormley-Fleming

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About This Book

Fundamentals of Children and Young People's Anatomy and Physiology contains the critical knowledge required to provide safe and effective care to young people. Emphasising the application of evidence-based theory to practice, this comprehensive yet accessible textbook helps nursing and healthcare students understand how children's anatomical and physiological systems influence disease processes and treatment options differently than in adults. Highly visual, succinct yet comprehensive, this textbook presents an overview of the structure and function of each body system, supported by clinical applications demonstrating how the concepts relate to nursing in practice.

Fully revised to reflect the Future Nurse Curriculum Standards, this second edition contains a new chapter on physical growth and development, discussion of social, political, and environmental impacts to children's health and wellbeing, updated problems and activities, and more. Each chapter includes a range of effective pedagogical tools, such as learning objectives, clinical considerations, body maps, and self-assessment questions. Designed to prepare students for their careers in delivering high-quality care for children in a range of settings, this leading textbook:

  • Provides information on the anatomical and physiological changes that leads to an altered state of health
  • Emphasises clinical application throughout, applying the anatomy and physiology to common health conditions in children
  • Offers a structured and comprehensive approach to child-related anatomy and physiology theory to prepare students for practice

Fundamentals of Children and Young People's Anatomy and Physiology is essential reading for nursing and healthcare students, and a useful reference for nurses, nursing associates, healthcare assistants, assistant practitioners, and other professionals working in the field.

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Chapter 1
Children and young people’s health and well‐being

Lisa Whiting and Mary L. Donnelly
School of Health and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK


The aim of this chapter is to consider the health and well‐being of children and young people, as well as the potential factors that may impact on it.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this chapter, the reader will be able to:
  • Define and discuss the concept of ‘childhood’.
  • Consider the ‘voice’ of children and young people and the importance of involving them in decision‐making processes.
  • Discuss health and well‐being within the context of a child and a young person.
  • Understand some of the factors that have the potential to influence and impact on the health and well‐being of children and young people.
  • Reflect upon the potential health‐promoting role of the nurse.
  • Consider childhood morbidity, mortality and genomics within the twenty‐first‐century context.

Test your prior knowledge

  • Is involving children in decision‐making a professional, ethical and/or legal obligation for health care professionals?
  • Where would you find these four core international principles relating to children?
  • Non‐discrimination.
  • Best interest of the child.
  • Right to life, survival and development.
  • Right to be heard.
  • Has it been found that child poverty is increasing or decreasing in the United Kingdom?
  • Where does the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) state that you should ‘raise concerns immediately if you believe a person is vulnerable or at risk of harm and needs extra support and protection’?
  • Which law ‘places duties on a range of organisations, agencies and individuals to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’?
  • Where does it state that everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life, their home and their correspondence?
  • What piece of legislation introduced the role of the children’s commissioner?
  • In 2017, which organisation published the State of Child Health report which found ‘alarming health inequalities between the United Kingdom’s most disadvantaged children and young people and their more affluent peers’?
  • What are the three key areas of public health?
  • Do nurses have a health‐promoting role?
  • What is the difference between mortality and morbidity?
  • What is genomics?


Across health and social care and education there is now a determined focus on improving outcomes for children’s health and wellbeing. Emphasis is on the importance of early interventions and preventive measures in improving health, more coordinated approaches to health and wellbeing and giving greater weight to the voices of children, young people, parents and families to develop effective care strategies.
(National Health Service [NHS] England, 2016: 5)
The importance of ensuring a good, healthy start in life for children, not just for themselves but also for the future benefit and economic stability of Britain, has been acknowledged (NHS England, 2014). This chapter focuses on the health and well‐being of children and young people; initially it provides an introduction to the concept of childhood, reflecting on the role of family and friends; this is followed by a discussion on the importance of the ‘voice’ of children and young people and the need to involve them in any decisions that may affect them. The health and well‐being of children and young people, the factors that may influence them and the potential health‐promoting role of the nurse are then considered. The chapter concludes by considering childhood mortality, morbidity and the relevance of genomics – thus, ‘setting the scene’ for the subsequent sections of the book.

The concept of childhood

The dictionary provides a rudimentary definition of childhood:
The condition of being a child; the period of life before puberty.
(Collins Dictionary, 2020,
It is also generally acknowledged that childhood spans four key phases – infancy and toddlerhood, early years, middle childhood and adolescence (Hutchison, 2011), with eminent psychologists such as Erikson (1950), Piaget (1952) and Kohlberg (1984) all having considered different aspects of the cognitive development of children and young people.
However, Prout and James (1997: 8) offer more clarification and suggest that childhood is not simply about the organic maturation of children, but that it is a ‘specific structural and cultural component of many societies’. Importantly, Frþnes (1993: 1) states that:
‘There is not one childhood, but many, formed at the intersection of different cultural, social and economic systems, natural and man‐made physical environments. Different positions in society produce different childhoods, boys and girls experience different childhoods within the same family’.
This raises an important point, if children are solely referred to collectively within the term ‘childhood’, there is a danger that differences (for example, gender, age and ethnicity) will be lost (James and Prout, 1997). Frþnes (1993) acknowledges the impact of society on the evolution of childhood, but also alludes to the personal experience and this perspective must surely be recognised.
There can be no doubt that the perception, understanding and recognition of childhood have changed considerably over the centuries. Several authors (such as Cunningham, 2006) have considered the development of childhood from the Middle Ages to more recent years, recognising that it has been influenced by a number of factors; for example, the impact of Christianity in the eighteenth century meant that the child was often viewed as needing spiritual salvation from evil; in the Victorian era, as a result of the work of a range of reformists, there was a more overt drive to protect children (Cunningham, 2006). At the same time, there has been a recurrent theme over the years of viewing children in terms of purity and innocence (Cunningham, 2006).
The present lives of children and young people are different to that of previous generations; however, it could be argued that generational differences are not new and have existed for cen...

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