Your child's doctor has probably been tracking your child's height since birth. Those measurements are compared against a standard growth chart. Growth charts show if your child is shorter or taller than average. Many parents worry when their children fall on the low end of the chart. Be assured, though, that most children who are shorter than average are perfectly healthy. They may have inherited "short" genes, or they may be "late bloomers" who will grow later than other children. Most children who are shorter than average do not need treatment, because they eventually reach a normal height on their own.
In rare cases, a child has a medical problem that affects growth. If your doctor thinks your child may have a medical problem, he or she will order tests.
Sometimes, children are teased about being short. Your child may need extra help to build healthy self-esteem. Having healthy self-esteem will help your child deal with his or her feelings. Assure your child that being a good person and a good friend are the keys to finding and keeping friends. Also, make sure your child knows that shortness (or even tallness) has nothing to do with having friendships.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 27, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
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