Differences in growth and maturation among children are common. While some children might grow taller than their peers during primary school, others may experience a growth spurt later.
However, it is important to differentiate between normal variations in growth and growth disorders, which can cause significantly slower or faster growth compared to other children of the same age.
Growth disorders can be due to a variety of underlying issues. While many children with below-average or average height are healthy, others may have underlying conditions affecting growth. These include
Identifying and treating these conditions early can help children reach their full growth potential.
Children whose height falls between the 3rd and 97th percentile and who maintain
a consistent growth rate are typically considered to have normal growth
patterns. However, a child growing less than 4 cm per year might have a growth disorder
and should be evaluated for possible growth hormone deficiency.
For children suspected of having a growth hormone deficiency, a growth
hormone stimulation test is conducted. This involves an exercise test where the
child runs on a treadmill for 10 minutes, with blood samples taken before and
after the exercise. Further tests, such as the glucagon growth hormone
stimulation test or insulin tolerance test, may follow if the initial test
indicates a deficiency.
Treatment varies based on the underlying cause. Growth hormone therapy is an option for certain conditions such as:
A child's maximum growth potential is influenced by genetics, diet,
sleep and physical activity. To support optimal growth, ensure your child consumes
a balanced diet and gets sufficient sleep and exercise.
Continued clinical research is essential for advancing paediatric healthcare. Our doctors are committed to contributing to the future of child health and medicine through both clinical practice and research.