Should I Worry if My Child is Short?
Although your child may be shorter than some of their peers, are they truly considered short stature and is it a problem? True short stature is defined as someone’s height being two standard deviations below the average height for age and sex. To translate this, this means your child is at or below the third percentile on the growth chart, meaning for every 100 children, three would be shorter than your child and 97 would be taller. But is this reason for concern?
Depending on the child’s genetics, it could be perfectly fine for your child to be short and to be in that third percentile. As long as your child continues to grow at their own rate and does not drop into the lower percentiles this is not a cause for concern.
Also a drop in percentile isn’t always a concern, during the early years, under two years old, it is very common for children to move up and down on the growth chart for height. This is referred to as catch up or catch down growth which will allow them to eventually reach their genetically determined growth percentile.
Determining Your Child’s Height
One way to try and determine a child’s expected height is by using the parents’ heights. This method takes an average of the parent’s heights called the mid-parental height. To calculate the mid-parental height for boys, take the height of the father (in centimeters) plus the mother’s height (in centimeters), add 13, then divide by 2. For girls, take the father’s height (in centimeters) plus the mother’s height, subtract 13, then divide by 2.
Even though there is no way to exactly determine what height your child will be, the above formula can show you the mid-parental height and help you see if your child is on track for healthy growth.
Another common and simple way to predict adult height is to take the height of your child at two years old and multiply it by 2.
Slow Growth Is Okay
Some children are a bit slower at growing, and that is okay! They might have a growth spurt a bit later and continue to grow once other children have stopped growing. This also may indicate that they will enter puberty later as well. But, if your child’s growth slows down significantly, , then there may be cause for concern.
Reasons for concern
So, should you be concerned if your child is short? Maybe, especially if they are not growing according to the growth curve. If you are noticing a continual plateau of growth in your child, then taking them to a pediatrician may help to figure out if there are any underlying issues.
If your child is eating a balanced diet and is being monitored regularly by a pediatrician, then there shouldn’t be any major reason for concern.
If you are worried about your child’s height, and your pediatrician ruled out a medical condition, Healthy Height™ is a safe way to promote natural growth. Healthy Height™ nutrition is clinically-shown to help lean and healthy children ages 3-9 grow. Our shake mix also contains important nutrients and vitamins every child needs to stay healthy. With 2 servings of Healthy Height™ a day you can see measurable growth in 6 months.