If you're concerned about your child's development and growth rate, join the club! Every parent wants to be sure their child is growing properly. But confusing terms like "percentiles" can cloud the issue. The fact is, terms like these are just tools doctors use to pick up on cases that are far outside the "norm."
At Pediatric Care of Four Corners in Davenport, Florida, Dr. Eiman ElSayed provides preventive care, well child checkups, and more for children and gives essential information and counsel to parents. She can let you know if you have any substantiated cause for concern about your child's physical growth or development.
Tracking your child's growth
At every well child visit, your baby's height and weight are measured and noted on their chart. As your child grows, their growth is mapped against a chart that covers all possible ranges of child growth.
While there is a middle range in which most children fall, dozens of factors that can affect child growth and genetics have a lot to do with it. That doesn't mean if a baby's parents are tall or short that the baby will grow faster or slower.
Genetics is more complicated than that, and a child with two tall parents could easily take after a grandparent who was much shorter. Not being perfectly in the middle of the range of growth isn't an automatic cause for alarm.
What is "normal"?
Normal height and weight can vary by four inches and five pounds at one year to nine inches and 80 pounds by age 18! The CDC advises parents to talk to their child's pediatrician if their child falls outside these parameters. Even if they fall outside of the averages, that doesn't mean you have to panic.
Just talk to Dr. ElSayed about your concerns, and if there are additional signs that your child's growth is truly compromised, she can run tests to check for potential underlying issues.
Some causes for slow growth
Some children have what is known as "delayed bone age," which simply means their bones (a huge factor in determining their height and weight) grow and mature more slowly. These kids often grow later than their peers, then shoot up in their late teens as bone growth finally kicks into gear.
Other potential reasons for slow growth include low growth hormone levels, an underactive thyroid, or anemia. Dr. ElSayed can check for all of these conditions to put your mind at ease if there is cause for concern.
If you have questions about your child's growth, call our office for an appointment at 563-201-8949 or request an appointment online today.