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Is my child growing well?

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Is my child growing well?

Dr. Vaishakhi Rustagi
Diabetes & Endocrinology, Paediatric Endocrinology
Diabetes & Endocrinology, Paediatric Endocrinology
Consultant

Short stature is a common concern of many parents today. There are many people who repent later as action for short stature was not taken at the right time. A healthy child is expected to grow in a predetermined pattern and any deviation could be a pointer to a serious underlying disorder.

HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY CHILD IS NOT GROWING WELL?

 

  • Your child is the shortest in class and is being bullied by his/ her classmates
  • Does not outgrow his/her clothes for more than 2 years
  • A younger cousin or sibling overshoots the elder one
  • Your child's shoe size or clothes have not changed for more than 2 years
  • Previously was considered a tall child and would sit on the last bench and now is counted amongst the short kids in class
  • People and relatives ask if your child is in two grades lesser than what he currently is in

All these factors can indicate that your child could be short and would warrant intervention by a growth specialist. Once the cause is detected the treatment is simple and long term consequences can be avoided. Early pubertal changes can take away the valuable time for growth and fuse the bones early thereby causing short stature.

 

Plotting a child on age and sex specific growth chart is the key to detect growth disorders early. It is cost effective and helps in early identification of potential health problems. Red flags that should definitely alert the parents and a prompt opinion be taken from a growth specialist are, if your child is:

 

  • Below 3rd percentile on the sex specific growth chart
  • Above 97th percentile on the sex specific growth chart
  • Breast development in girls before 8 years
  • Underarm or pubic hair growth in boys and girls before 8 years