The truth is all kids have their own pace of growing up; some may appear to be taller than before, some may appear to be same. We can see kids of all different shapes and sizes. But it is true that family members and teachers are the first people to encounter any growth disorder in the child.
The red alert signs to see a growth specialist are:
- Your child is the shortest in class.
- Your child fits into the same clothes and shoes for more than two years.
- Younger siblings of the same family are getting taller than you child.
- Your child is not able to cope up with the same age kids in play activities.
How can a child’s growth be monitored?
Dr. Vaishakhi Rustagi says, our child’s paediatrician keeps a growth chart of every child and plots his height and weight on the chart at regular visits. Since children grow in a relatively predictable manner from infancy to adulthood, if their growth is monitored regularly, it is easy to pick up short stature early.
What are the causes of short stature?
Short stature could be because the child is a slow grower or the parents are short. However many infections, systemic illnesses and hormonal disorders can also cause short stature eg: growth hormone deficiency, thyroid hormone deficiency, etc.
What will our doctor do for short stature?
Your doctor will try to find out the cause of short stature. If need arises the doctor would refer you to a Growth Specialist or a Pediatric Endocrinologist Dr. Vaishakhi Rustagi.
Will my child need tests?
Depending on the assessment made by the growth specialist necessary blood and radiological investigations would be asked.
Is there any treatment available for short stature?
Yes, treatment is available for most of the causes of short stature.
Depending on the cause of short stature, treatment would be offered to you by your growth specialist.
Can every short child be given growth hormone therapy?
Growth hormone therapy is approved only for a few conditions of short stature. Treatment is costly and needs an injection to be given daily. Though it is a relatively safe drug, growth hormone should be administered only after your growth specialist has prescribed it.
Thus growth monitoring is an extremely effective tool to pick up growth disorders early and act on them promptly.