Skeletal Development During Childhood (3 years-10 years)
- Childhood is an extremely important time period for bone growth. It is important to start building strong bones from a young age, since bone mass typically peaks in the third decade of life.
- During childhood, bones continue to grow both in length and diameter.
- At birth, long bones have more than one ossification center (regions from which bone growth starts). These grow during childhood until the ends of the bone (epiphyseal plates) become fused with the shaft of the bone (the diaphysis).
- In order for children to develop strong bones, it is necessary for them to do physical activity and eat a healthy diet. Weight-bearing physical activity (such as walking, running, jumping) can help the bones develop, if done in moderation.
- Also, it is important for children to consume a sufficient amount of calcium for the bones have enough vitamins and minerals to grow properly.