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Two little girls.

Bouguereau's A Calling.

Boy showing tongue.

A child (plural: children). Precise definitions vary; is the offspring, of any age, of two people. The American Heritage Dictionary[1] defined a child as an individual who has not yet reached puberty.

The term "child" is also a counterpart of parent: adults are the children of their parents despite their maturation beyond infancy; for example "Benjamin, aged 46, is the child of Tobias, aged 73". Similarly in a generalized sense, see child node.

Legal definition of child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as "every human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier".[2]


Child development is the study or examination of processes and mechanisms that operate during the physical and mental development of an infant into an adult. Pediatrics is the branch of medicine relating to the care of children. It encompasses ages from prenatal to teenagers and even young adults (ages 0-21 years).

Terms for stages of age-related physical development are listed below. Approximate age ranges are shown, but conceptions about the boundaries between different stages of life vary between cultures and periods. The age ranges and terms listed reflect 21st century conceptions in the developed world.

See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:


  1. Definition of child. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company.
  2. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ratified by 192 of 194 member countries.

External links

Preceded by:
Stages of human development
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