73.4% OF CHIL­DREN BE­TWEEN 1 AND 14 sub­jected to cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment in SL: UNICEF

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - BUSINESS NEWS -

About 73.4% per cent of chil­dren aged one to four­teen ex­pe­ri­ence cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment at home by par­ents in Sri Lanka, the UNICEF Sri Lanka said yes­ter­day.

Is­su­ing a state­ment, it said only 48.7% of three to five-year old’s in Sri Lanka at­tend pre-school, which, when of good qual­ity, helps to foster cog­ni­tive and lan­guage de­vel­op­ment, so­cial com­pe­tency and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment.

It said an es­ti­mate 17% of chil­dren un­der five are at risk of poor de­vel­op­ment due to stunted growth, re­sult­ing from poor nutri­tion and 15.1% of chil­dren un­der five are suf­fer­ing from wast­ing (low weight for height) which if un­treated can lead to chronic mal­nu­tri­tion.

“Chil­dren in Sri Lanka are at risk of en­ter­ing adult­hood at a dis­ad­van­tage to their peers, be­cause they have not ben­e­fited from the good nutri­tion, stim­u­la­tion and pro­tec­tion - known as ‘eat, play and love’ - that en­able a brain to grow to its full ca­pac­ity by the age of 5 years,” warned UNICEF. The state­ment said ad­vances in neu­ro­science have proved that dur­ing the early years of life a child’s brain grows at an as­tound­ing rate which is never again re­peated.

“A child’s brain grows and de­vel­ops to 85 per cent of its full ca­pac­ity by the age of 5. In these early years’ brain de­vel­op­ment de­pends on good nutri­tion, play and stim­u­la­tion in the home en­vi­ron­ment and in preschools and love and pro­tec­tion from harm in­clud­ing vi­o­lence, abuse and ne­glect. These can be pro­vided by par­ents through sim­ple ac­tions, and can make a last­ing, pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence to a child’s de­vel­op­ment,” UNICEF said.

Mean­while, mark­ing the run up to Fa­ther’s Day (17th June), UNICEF said it has launched a new digital cam­paign to cel­e­brate and in­form par­ents how they can sup­port their chil­dren’s op­ti­mal brain de­vel­op­ment.

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