Table 3

 Range of normal behaviours in children aged 1 to 12 years

Age (y)Activity
1–2Initially crawling and walking supported by furniture, then walking and running
Feeds themself
Plays with toys
Starting to communicate with increasing vocabulary; will understand more than they can yet say themselves
Independent and opinionated: cannot be reasoned with
Curious but with no sense of danger
Frightened of strangers
2–5Illogical thinkers (by adult standards)
May misinterpret what is said to them
Fearful of being left alone, loss of control and being unwell
Limited attention span
Understand the relation between cause and effect
Pleased to learn new skills
Older children may understand simple explanations about how their bodies work and their illness
Fearful about separation from parents, loss of control, pain, and disability
May be unable to express their thoughts
Desire to “fit in” with peers