Risk Of Delay In Child Development

Risk Of Delay In Child Development

Introduction to NANDA Nursing Diagnosis: Risk Of Delay In Child Development

Every child develops in his own unique way, but on average, children start to crawl and walk according to a predictable timetable. If a child deviates from this timetable, it could be an indication of a potential developmental problem. The NANDA classification of nursing diagnoses identifies ‘Risk Of Delay In Child Development’ as a possible diagnosis to help nurses assess and treat delays in development.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

This diagnosis is defined as “an increased vulnerability for lags in development due to circumstantial, environmental or genetic factors”. This diagnosis can be further broken down into its defining characteristics, related factors, associated problems, suggested alternatives, and usage tips.

Defining Characteristics


  • Anxiety about the future
  • Unclear limits and expectations
  • Lack of educational resources


  • Delay in motor milestones
  • Delay in cognitive milestones
  • Delay in social and emotional milestones

Related Factors

There are some related factors that may increase the risk of a delay in child development. These include: inadequate nutrition, chronic illness, family stress, prematurity, drugs, alcohol, and maternal mental health issues.

Associated Problems

Associated problems can vary depending on the individual circumstances of the patient. Some possible associated problems include an increased risk of learning delays, behavioral problems, dropping out of school, and difficulty forming healthy relationships.

Suggestions of Use

This diagnosis can be used if a patient is exhibiting delayed development in any area, such as motor, cognitive, language, social, or emotional. It is important to note that this diagnosis does not specify any particular cause for the delay; instead, it helps identify areas to target for intervention and treatment.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses

Some alternative diagnoses to consider are Health Care-Seeking Behavior, Functional Constipation, and Noncompliance.

Usage Tips

The following tips can be helpful when using this diagnosis:

  • Assess the patient’s environment to uncover potential causes of the delay.
  • Consider the impact of family dynamics on the child’s development.
  • Evaluate the child’s development in multiple areas.
  • Refer families to outside resources for additional support.

NOC Results

NOC results associated with this diagnosis include Self-Care, Healthy Development and Problem Solving, and Play Skills.

NIC Interventions

NIC interventions for this diagnosis include play activities, direct interventions, environmental modifications, and parental guidance.


By utilizing the Risk of Delay in Child Development diagnosis, health care professionals can identify possible lags in development and provide interventions to ensure that children reach their full potential.


  • Q: Is there a cure for developmental delays?
  • A: There is no “cure” per se, since developmental delays result from individual combinations of factors. However, early detection and specialized interventions can significantly reduce the impact of delays.

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