Get answers to your child's growth, nutrition, and feeding behavior questions.
Growth - slow (child 0 - 5 years); Weight gain - slow (child 0 - 5 years); Slow rate of growth; Retarded growth and development; Growth delay
Delayed growth is poor or abnormally slow height or weight gains in a child younger than age 5. This may just be normal, and the child may outgrow it.
See also: Short stature
A child should have regular, well-baby check-ups with a health care provider.
See the following for more information:
Constitutional growth delay refers to children who are small for their age but are growing at a normal rate. Puberty is often late in these children.
These children continue to grow after most of their peers have stopped. Most of the time, they will reach an adult height similar to their parents' height. However, other causes of growth delay must be ruled out.
Genetics may also play a role. One or both parents may be short. Short but healthy parents may have a healthy child who is in the shortest 5% for his or her age. These children are short, but they should reach the height of one or both of their parents.
Delayed or slower-than-expected growth can be caused by many different things, including:
Many children with delayed growth also have delays in development.
See also: Failure to thrive
Reiter EO, Rosenfeld RG. Normal and aberrant growth. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 23.
Bauchner H. Failure to thrive. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 37.
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