The importance of caregiver-child interactions for the survival and healthy development of young children: a review
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Nearly 11 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in the past year. Almost 40% of these children die within the first month of life. Millions of children survive but face diminished lives, unable to develop to their full potential. Poor nutrition and frequent bouts of illness limit the young child's opportunities to explore the world during a critical period for learning basic intellectual and social skills. Often neither the caregiver nor health personnel are aware of what to do to prevent or lessen the worst effects of illness, nor how to provide compensatory experiences to get the child's growth and psychological development back on track. This review lays the groundwork for including interventions to improve the relationship between the caregiver and child in an overall strategy to improve the child's survival, health, and development.