A child’s first thousand days are crucial for its development. This is when the foundation is laid for a healthy future. Investments in the health and welfare of children are therefore essential to ensure a long and healthy life full of promise.
Children develop simultaneously on a physical, intellectual, social and emotional level. These processes of development are mutually linked and interdependent, and they all reinforce each other. Children’s health and welfare can receive a positive boost by simultaneously addressing their basic needs, which include good nutrition and a nurturing and safe environment, and encouraging their ability to adapt to their surroundings.
Early intervention, lifelong benefits
Interventions aimed at ensuring that these basic needs are met should start as early as possible, even before conception. They should continue until the child has reached at least two years of age, in other words: throughout a child’s first 1000 days. There is increasing evidence that interventions during these thousand days not only increase survival rates, but that they also result in continued good health, well-being and security later in life. In the first 1000 days of life, a child’s body responds exceptionally well to stimuli, which can refine the child’s resilience and adaptability, or even imperil the proper development of these traits. This crucial period thus forms the basis for a lifetime of good health or a lifetime of compromised health. Moreover, early investments result in lower healthcare costs and other savings down the road.
Would you like to know more about a child’s first thousand days? Download the white paper.