All children have unique qualities, and growth rate is no different. Despite small differences, kids tend to mature according to certain milestones in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. If you feel that your kid is missing certain milestones and appears much smaller than other children around the same age, it might be time to talk to a doctor. Understanding growth will help you gain information on HGH issues, such as as Turner’s Syndrome and Idiopathic Short Stature, and how your child can benefit from therapy.
Regular growth in humans is controlled by a hormone from the pituitary gland, known as human growth hormone. While the pituitary gland produces many hormones for varying bodily functions, we look to HGH secretion for normal growth.
As human growth hormone takes effect throughout your child’s life, look for them to reach certain height milestones. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about your kid’s milestones before they reach 2 years old.
Signs to watch for: 2 to 3 Years
- ~3.5 inches of growth per year
- Close to twice their birth height by the age of 4
Signs to watch for: 3 Years to Puberty
- ~2 inches of growth per year
- Rapid growth spurts during puberty
If you notice your child’s growth deviates far from this pattern or that they’re significantly shorter than others, consult a doctor.
How Doctors Measure Growth
During regular visits to the doctor, your child will have their height measured on a growth chart. These charts use percentiles to keep a consistent eye on growth patterns and compare your child’s height to children of similar age. For example, if your child is in the 10th percentile, it means that they are shorter than 90% of children their age.
If your child isn’t within normal growth ranges, your doctor should talk to you about Idiopathic Short Stature, Small for Gestational Age, or run further tests. If appropriate, they will refer you to a pediatric endocrinologist who specializes in hormone disorders.