The term growth problem is a common occurrence in households having small children. But most of the time this is basically a misconception and a result of over-anxious parents. Growth problems in children can arise due to a number of causes, one of them being the inability of a child to put on weight or if the child is putting on extra weight than that is needed.
There might be other disorders in the growth and development [pattern of a child, but before striking a panic attack, it musty be studied whether the child is genuinely having a growth problem, or he or she is just having a normally delayed growth.
Generally the growth and development of children have their own patterns, which are different for girls and boys. The normal cycle of growth in any child is demonstrated throughout his or her growing years, but is especially apparent by his or her attaining the puberty. The age of attaining this puberty is also somewhat different for boys and girls. While girls have their puberty between 8 to 13 years of age, for the boys it is often between 10 to 15 years of age.
This growth in girls are manifested through the development of their rounded hips, breasts, growth of pubic hair, and their menstrual cycle, whereas in boys it is the growth in the size of the testicles and the penis, growth of facial hair, and changes in the voice.
Though this growth is early for some, and somewhat late for others, this cannot be marked as a growth problem. But for some children there is a constitutional growth problem that needs to be treated.
The symptoms of growth problems are generally not very apparent till a certain age, and if some problem in the growth pattern is suspected, then the doctor must be consulted immediately. These symptoms differ from one individual to another according to the causes and their individual growth pattern, but some more general symptoms are as follows:
Failure to put on weight for babies
Excessive weight gain
Disproportional length and head circumference
Below normal height and weight ratio
There are a number of factors that lead to growth problems. Some of them are as follows:
Babies of small parents
Failure to gain weight
Eating disorders, like anorexia
Not getting adequate amounts of protein, calories, and other nutrients in your diet
Number of other chronic medical conditions such as kidney, heart, lung, and intestinal diseases
People with sickle cell anemia
Hormonal imbalance, like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or Turner’s syndrome
Generally there is no need to raise an alarm if a child is somewhat late than the others in its growth process. The growth curve can differ from individual to individual without causing much long-term harm. But if this problem persists, and it is noticed that the child is showing symptoms of genuine growth problems, then the height and the weight of the child needs to be monitored on a regular basis based on the standard growth curves and charts that are available with the medical practitioners.
Since growth problems are person specific, the treatment of growth problems also differ from one individual to another.
Some of the more general treatments of growth problems are as follows:
Keep a close watch on the child, especially during their growing years
Give proper nutrients
Give a healthy diet
Find out if there is any genuine growth disorder in the child
Chart the growth rate on a standard growth curve
X-Rays of the bone to find out the actual cause
Study of the growth pattern of the family
Hormone treatments if necessary, but with caution