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When Should I Worry About My Child’s Height?

As a parent, you tend to be cautious and often worry about your child’s growth. Most of the times, you are confused if it is due to some problem you are not able to understand or if it is because you and your partner are short.

The height of the child generally depends on their age and also the average height range they can fall at that particular age. If your child does not fall in their age-specific height range, you might have to consult with a pediatric endocrinologist. They will evaluate the child and then give an analysis.

When you should see a pediatric endocrinologist is something most parents do not understand. Here are a few warning signs that you should take your child to a pediatric endocrinologist.

  • Your child is shorter when compared to the rest of their peers.
  • Your child is not gaining any height for the last few months to years.
  • Your child is shorter compared to his/her younger siblings.

While these are some warning signs you should be looking out for, here are a few frequently asked questions from concerned parents.

How to monitor your child’s growth?

  • It is important for a parent to measure and keep track of their child’s growth on the growth chart. Keep markings of their height every few months. This is the best way to know if your child is growing at a normal pace or not.

What are the causes of short stature?

  • Hormonal disorders are one of the causes of short stature e.g., thyroid hormone deficiency, growth hormone deficiency, etc. as well as due to chronic/recurrent infections or systemic illnesses. Short stature may also be because the child is a slow grower (termed as a constitutional delay in growth) or the parents are short (termed as familial short stature).

What will your doctor do for short stature?

  • Your doctor will analyze and find out the cause of short stature. He will take an x-ray of the child’s left hand and a few blood tests after the initial growth assessment.

Are treatment options available for short stature?

  • Yes, there are good treatment options available for short stature depending on the cause.

Would my child need growth hormone therapy?

  • There are only a few conditions approved for treatment with growth hormone. Treatment includes giving an injection which is a relatively safe drug, to the child by their parents at home every day during the night. However, your child requires regular monitoring by a growth specialist once the growth hormone therapy has started.
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