Early child development – preventive pediatric office practices, an idea whose time has come

As the pediatric office practice is in for a change in paradigm, the early child development monitoring is an essential pillar of pediatric preventive health. Almost 43% of the under five children, from low and middle income countries will not reach their expected development potential.  Early pick up of faltering development can hugely impact not only the disease burden but also economic burden of a country. 

One of the simplest resource available for a quick development screening from 0-3 years is the MCP ( Mother and Child protection ) card . MCP Card is issued by government of India (ministry of HFW & women and child development) to every pregnant woman who registers her pregnancy with the ANM/Medical officer during the first Antenatal Care (ANC) visit. One of the components of MCP card is focused on early child development. It integrates the component of development monitoring with well baby visits at 2-3 months, 4-6 months, 7-9 months, 10-12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 36 months. At each visit three zones are to be marked – green zone which covers the development milestones expected for that age, blue zone which advises on parenting tips and red zone which monitors the red flags for development. It not only helps to monitor the child development but also guides on stimulation practices and pick up the cohort of children who are falling off the curve and need further referral. Pictorial representation and use of vernacular languages makes it easy to understand and paramedical staff / OPD nurse / ANM can easily be trained to fill the same. 

Click here for the abridged Version of MCP card for development screening only

Click here for the full version of the MCP card. 

Post pic Collage from MCP card

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