We are increasingly understanding more about how children develop including greater insight into the plasticity of the brain in the early stages of life.
Disability is an umbrella term for many conditions that might impair a childs ability to perform an activity in a manner or range considered normal for a human being of that developmental stage.
One in 30 children are born with a congenital malformation, many life-threatening, requiring long-term health treatment.
Infectious diseases are conditions caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. They can affect multiple organs of the body including the skin which is often subjected to infection by the bug Staphylococcus aureus, of which New Zealand has some of the highest rates in the developed world.
450 children develop epilepsy each year, dramatically reducing their quality of life and often resulting in death. Batten disease is a very rare inherited neurological disorder in children with no cure, nor effective treatments, and it invariably ends in premature death.
Dental decay is the most chronic childhood disease, with more than 50 per cent of under-fives having decay which have numerous adverse effects on their short and long-term health.
Each year in New Zealand, approximately 500 babies are born very preterm, exposing them to a higher risk of a number of neuro developmental problems, including cerebral palsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We also experience a dramatically high number of stillborn babies.
Acute respiratory illnesses are the leading cause of death in New Zealand children. The umbrella term of respiratory conditions includes bronchiectasis, pneumonia, asthma and cystic fibrosis.