Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Caring for the child’s healthy growth and development

Caring for newborns and children in the community

World Health Organization

Book cover image.

Publication details

Publication date: 2015
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 150499 7



The survival of children through their early years depends on the adults who care for them.

Children need to eat well in order to grow, be healthy and strong. They need protection from illness and injury as they explore the world around them. When they are sick, they need good medical care. Adults must meet many needs of a growing child.

Children also need adults who give them love, affection, and appreciation. They need adults who spend time playing and communicating with them. Adults help children from birth to learn the skills that will make it possible for them, too, to become competent, happy, and caring adults.

Community health workers support the efforts of families and other caregivers as they raise their children. Their support can be critical to the child’s healthy growth and development, especially when caregivers also face poverty, isolation, chronic illness, and other difficult conditions.

At the end of this course, participants will be able to counsel families to:

  • breastfeed young children and give their children nutritious complementary foods.
  • play and communicate with their children to help them learn, and to strengthen their relationship with their children.
  • prevent childhood illnesses and injury.
  • recognize signs of illness and take their sick children to a health facility for care.

Related publications