Delayed growth is poor or abnormally slow height or weight gains in a child younger than age 5.
See also: Short stature
Growth - slow (child 0 - 5 years); Weight gain - slow (child 0 - 5 years); Slow rate of growth; Retarded growth and development
A child should have regular, well-baby check-ups with a health care provider.
See the following for more information:
Delayed or slower-than-expected growth can be caused by many different things, including:
- Chronic disease
- Emotional (psychosocial) health
- Poor nutrition
Many children with delayed growth also have delays in development.
See also: Failure to thrive
If slow weight gain is due to a lack of calories, try feeding the child on demand. Increase the amount offered to the child, and offer nutritional, high-calorie foods. Also, prepare formula exactly according to directions. Do not water down (dilute) ready-to-feed formula.
Call your health care provider if:
Contact your health care provider if you think notice developmental delays or think eemotional issues may be contributing to a child's delayed growth.
If your child is not growing due to lack of calories, your health care provider can refer you to a nutrition expert who can help you choose the right foods to offer your child.
What to expect at your health care provider's office:
The health care provider will examine the child and measure height, weight, and head circumference . The parent or caregiver will be asked questions about the child's medical history, including:
- Has the child always been on the low end of the growth charts?
- Did the child's growth start out normal and then slow down?
- Is the child developing normal social skills and physical skills?
- Does the child eat well? What kinds of foods does the child eat?
- What type of feeding schedule is used?
- Is the infant fed by breast or bottle?
- If the baby is breastfed , what medications does the mother take?
- If bottle-fed, what kind of formula is used? How is the formula mixed?
- What medications does the child take?
- How tall are the child's biological parents? How much do they weigh?
- What other symptoms are present?
Ther health care provider may also ask questions about parenting habits and the child's social interactions.
Tests may include:
- Blood tests (such as a CBC or blood differential )
- Hormone studies
- Stool studies (to check for malabsorption)
X-rays to determine bone age and to look for fractures