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Short In Height - Should You Be Worried About Your Child?

Dr. I. P. S. Kochar 90% (19 ratings)
MAMC, MRCPCH, MD - Paediatrics, MBBS
Pediatrician, Noida  •  37 years experience
Short In Height - Should You Be Worried About Your Child?

Out of the many things a parent can be worried about their child, physical growth and development are the major ones. Height development is indeed a very crucial part of the overall development of a child's body. But how will you know whether your child is short and should you worry if he or she is short?

When is a child categorised as being short?
A child is said to be of short stature when the height is two standard deviations less than the mean height for the specific age and sex. However, it does not signify that your child is sick or has some deformity.

What are the causes of being short?
The most common reasons that need not be worried about are:

  1. Ancestry: Your child short height could be a result genetics. If his/her parents belong from a short family stature, then, the child is most likely to follow the same. Being said that, their body performs in a normal way and they do not face any medical issue despite being short.
  2. Delay in Growth: In case a child faces a severe growth delay between the age of 6 months and up to 2 years, then it may lead to him/her staying short. Such children usually grow at a much slower pace, compared to other children of the same age without any development issues. However, no medical treatment is required as the child usually catches up with the height of their friends of the same age, once they become adults.

What are the medical Conditions behind the short stature?
For children who show an excessive delay in growth, doctors can find out whether they are going through any serious medical condition that needs attention or not. Some of the medical conditions which can cause short height are:

  1. Malnutrition: For those who do not receive proper nutrition on a daily basis, tend to face physical health issues.
  2. Chronic Illness: Any congenital disease or something that affects the major organs of one's body might slow down the height growth.
  3. GHD: Growth Hormone Deficiency is a common condition in children. When the pituitary gland does not produce enough hormones, such a condition occurs.
  4. Mental Stress: When a child faces stress from a very little age, often he or she becomes mentally and physically hampered.
  5. Genetic Problems: A condition known as Turner’s syndrome can cause growth failure in a girl child.
  6. Hormonal Imbalance: For those who suffer from improper production of hormones, they might face obstruction in case of height growth.
  7. Endocrine diseases: Endocrine diseases disrupt hormone production thus resulting in a delay in growth.

For every 100 children of a particular age, 3 tend to be shorter. However, unless your child suffers from a medical problem, short stature is not to be worried, and it is recommended that they have a proper and balanced nutrition to ensure a proper height development. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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