Home » Health » A Toddler who is Falling off the Growth Curve
Toddler who is Falling off the Growth Curve

A growth chart is the best way to monitor your child’s growth and general health. Your child’s weight and height often, but not always, follows a certain percentile starting from birth until adulthood. During the initial 2 years of your child’s life, it’s quite uncommon to find his growth deviating from the norm, either downwards or upwards.

While this seems normal, it may indicate that your child has an underlying health issue. Thus, ensure you involve your physician at every stage of your child’s growth so that he can monitor weight, height,and length closely. The monitoring process will help to determine if your child requires growth hormone deficiency treatment. In addition, the doctor will advise you on how to encourage your child to grow in order for him to achieve his optimal height.


Monitoring Growth

Growth monitoring is a vital part of your child’s pediatric care, especially where the doctor feels that he needs growth hormone deficiency treatment. Health and nutritional challenges usually affect a child’s growth. Thus, the best way to assess his development is by taking and recording serial height and weight data.

In fact, Who growth charts came from years of data taken from kids aged 0 to 5 years. The data is a representation of actual height and weight distribution based on sex and age. Doctors responsible forassessing your child’s development against that of a representative child population uses these charts particularly for kids who are under growth hormone deficiency treatment.


Changes in growth percentile

Although kids often follow a similar percentile in terms of height and weight for a substantial part of their childhood, kids showing normal growth may experience some shift in percentile in the first three years. That means their bodies are adjusting to accommodate an inherited potential.

A Child’s birth length and weight are strong indicators and predictors showing your child’s subsequent potential. However, these parameters don’t always reflect, with pinpoint accuracy, your child eventual height. Your child’s intrauterine growth may be affected by smoking, malnutrition, placental insufficiency or gestational diabetes.

Once your child is born, he is likely to catch up in case he was born a size below his growth potential. Some kids catch down if they were born a size larger than they should be.

Your child’s growth pattern also depends on how well you feed him. Breastfeeding children often grow much faster than those who are on formula milk in the initial six months after birth. However, formula kids experience rapid growth once six months have elapsed.

Kids with constitutional growth begin to show retarded growth in the initial three years of their lives. Thereafter, growth normalizes, although it will be parallel to a standard curve. Sometimes a child will show growth corresponding to the lower end of a growth curve just before he hits puberty. Beyond the age of 3, your child may not experience growth until he reaches puberty.


Causes of wavering growth

Faltering growth occurs due to a number of reasons, but the most common one is postnatal reasons such as environmental issues, nutrition, chronic illness or endocrinopathy. Toddlers often experience poor growth because of insufficient calories in the diet. In some cases, poor growth could be an indication of an underlying health issue in a child who is mostly asymptotic. 

A growth curve, on its own, provides tons of information. If a child is showing normal growth, the issue could be that he is experiencing a growth adjustment, which is known to affect height and weight in the same way.


Consequences of faltering growth

If your doctor points your child’s poor growth to a health condition, he will recommend appropriate growth treatment. With proper treatment and the right nutrition, your child’s growth failure can be corrected with ease. Otherwise, your child height may not change much.  Therefore, the likelihood of a catch is dependent on timing and duration of the resulting insult as well as severity. 



If no cause of poor growth is found, you should rest assured that your child is healthy and will grow with time. You should also understand that not all kids would fall under the 50th percentile in height. Your child’s growth is under the mercies of your genes. So if you and your spouse are short, your child will most likely turn out to be short as well.

Parents who want to pursue other alternatives to help their kids gain some height can seek remedial measures like growth hormone deficiency treatment, but only after a doctor’s assessment.

Pharmacological intervention

In extremely exceptional instances, your doctor may recommend pharmacological therapy for a child with poor growth. Poor growth, in this case, may have been caused by an inadequate diet. However, this is only applicable after a careful assessment of your child by a qualified doctor.


Final Word

Follow up on your child’s development, as this is the only way to find deficiencies that may cause poor growth.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *