The delay in growth in a child directly affects the development of individual internal organs and the entire body as a whole. Untimely physical development can become a kind of a brake lever in puberty.
The main symptom of this disorder is a 10% growth gap in the average for a given child’s age, which can be detected using a normal child’s growth meter. If this problem is identified, parents should consult a doctor to find the reasons for the short stature and timely correction.
The first intensive increase in the growth of the child falls on the first year of life, the baby on average grows by 25 cm. Further, the growth rate decreases, in the second year of life, on average, children grow by 10 cm, then by 4-6 cm every year.
The next significant increase in growth in children occurs from 4 to 6 years. This interval is called the period of the first physical stretching.
During puberty (for girls – from 12 to 19 years, for boys – from 13 to 20 years) the child grows at an intensive rate, the length of the body for a year can increase by 7-12 cm.
Causes of growth retardation in children
1. Diseases and genetic disorders
To provoke a delay in growth can be severe diseases, including diseases of the central nervous system, blood, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, lungs, malformations of various organs, as well as various genetic disorders.
2. Pathology of the endocrine system
Serious failures in the growth processes are observed in the pathology of the endocrine system. Directly or indirectly participate in the growth processes of almost all hormones (somatotropic, thyroid, sex, glucocorticoids, insulin, etc.). The most pronounced growth effect is produced by somatotropin (growth hormone). Deficiency or a violation of the mechanism of their actions lead to a pronounced growth retardation and a backwardness of the bone age in children.
3. Lack of vitamin D (calciferol)
Lack of this vitamin is a serious condition of the body, which is characterized by a violation of absorption in the body of phosphorus and calcium from food. One of the symptoms of Vitamin D vitamin deficiency is a slowdown in children.
4. Constitutional growth retardation
The delay in the growth of children, for this reason, is hereditary. Parents or close relatives in most cases had the same developmental features. Most often these children do not need medical treatment.
Children are born with normal growth and weight, then the rate of growth decreases, which becomes more distinct at the age of 3-4 years. The growth rate is restored from 5-6 years and is about 6 cm per year, however, children remain stunted, since the initial growth was below average. On average, the “bony” age of such children lags behind the chronological age of 2 years, puberty usually lags 2-4 years.
5. Family low stature
The main signs of this diagnosis are short stature, proportional physique, normal neuropsychic development, sexual development without delay. A child with such a diagnosis will grow as long as his genetic potential is enough.
6. External factors
External growth problems include malnutrition or unbalanced diet, insufficient sleep, adverse conditions of life, nervous stress, bad habits (including secondhand smoke if smokers are parents).
Some sports can “slow down” the growth of a child. These include all kinds of wrestling, sambo, judo and weightlifting. Also, the bone-ligament apparatus is adversely affected by disproportionate physical loads.
It should be remembered that each person has his own individual growth program. However, parents should pay close attention to physical changes in the child’s body and, if suspected of lagging behind in growth, immediately seek advice from a specialist.