Is My Child Short?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

How short is short?

If your child’s height is significantly below the measurements of kids their age, gender, and race, they are considered as being short. The term short stature is also used to referred to people who are shorter than 97% of their peers (same age and sex).

What causes my child short stature?

Genetic factors
Children whose one (or many) family members have short stature will inherit it too. However, these children are completely healthy. No treatment has proven to be effective in increasing their height.

Malnutrition
Children who do not get sufficient nutritional intakes are likely to grow up shorter than they are supposed to because they do not have the nutrients required for their bodies to develop.

Constitutional growth delay
This condition causes the child to grow slower than the average speed for a while (between 6 months and 2 years of age). Then, they will continue to grow at the normal pace and soon catch up their peers.

Other factors that can hinder one’s growth include hormone imbalances and chronic diseases of the major organs such as the heart or lungs.

What can a doctor do to help my child?

If your doctor believes there might be an underlying problem for your child’s short stature, they will track your child’s height measurements for a few months. If your child is still growing healthily, there is no need for any treatment. But if the child is growing too slow or has stopped growing, your doctor will refer you to an endocrinologist. Blood tests are necessary to detect hormonal or chromosomal disorders. Any development delays will be identified using X-rays of bone age. Sometimes, your child may need an MRI to look for possible abnormalities in the pituitary gland. Depending on the problem, the doctor will suggest a suitable treatment plan. Growth-hormone therapies are often recommended.

How to support your child’s growth?

If nothing can be done medically about your child’s height, your best bet is to make sure your child gets enough nutrients, sleep well, and exercise regularly. It’s important not to make fun of their height or comparing them with other kids since their height is probably genetic, not their fault. Also, avoid putting pressure on them because psychological stress has been tied to growth delay in kids. Even if your child cannot grow any taller, it’s still alright. Being short does not mean they cannot succeed in life.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

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