Does your child appear shorter compared to his or her friends? Do you remember not being that short when you were at that age? Is he or she not gaining weight despite adequate food intake? Worried about stunted growth and that he or she may never grow tall? Here we tell you more about how it.
Growth failure is a term used to describe a growth rate that is below the appropriate growth velocity for age. The term growth delay may refer to a situation in which a child is short but appears to be able to grow longer than children usually do, and thus, may not end up short as an adult.
What makes us grow anyway? Normal growth is the result of several elements, such as nutrition, genetics, hormones, environmental factors, and absence of diseases. Each child grows at a different pace so as much as possible, try not to compare your child’s growth with children of the same age as it can be an unreliable basis. However, every parent should regularly monitor their child’s growth and this can be done with the help of growth charts and frequent consults with your pediatrician.
Inadequate nutrition is just one of several causes of growth stunting. Other contributors to stunting include chronic or recurrent infections, and sometimes in combination with the presence of intestinal parasites. Sometimes, growth stunting may reflect extreme psychosocial stress such as adjustment disorders, child abuse, and depression.
How to tell whether there is a potential that your child may be undergoing stunted growth? Your pediatrician can help by regularly monitoring your child’s growth. Proper growth assessment and monitoring includes:
- Length from birth to 2 or 3 years of age
- Height for children who are able to stand
- Head circumference until 2 years of age
If all goes well, with frequent monitoring and proper nutrition, along with a psycho-socially healthy environment, your child may grow to his full potential.