Physical safety and physical and mental well-being are crucial foundations for healthy brain development. Physical well-being includes:
- Responsive adults
- Safe physical surroundings
- Appropriate nutrition (including breastfeeding and essential fatty acids)
- Good health practices (both during and after pregnancy)
Young children cannot create a safe and healthy world for themselves. The caring adults around them are responsible for creating an environment that nurtures them and promotes healthy brain development.
Children who are nurtured by responsive adults, spend their time in safe surroundings, consume nutritious foods, get enough quality sleep, are physically active, and receive regular, appropriate health care are better able to explore and learn without danger of injury. They can relate to other people without anxiety and can develop the ability to regulate their emotions.