Tips for Parents: Growth Patterns and Potential Health Issues

This year, Congress is recognizing the first-ever Growth Awareness Week to put a spotlight on the need for parents to better educate themselves on proper growth patterns for children. Monitoring growth is one of the most important ways to determine if a child is healthy, and growth may be an overall sign of their health and physical development.1

The MAGIC (Major Aspects of Growth In Children) Foundation and Novo Nordisk, sponsors of the annual Growth Awareness Week, urge parents to learn more and take an active role in monitoring and understanding their child’s growth patterns. The MAGIC Foundation has offered the following tips that can help parents and caregivers.

  1. Be knowledgeable about your child’s growth chart and percentiles.

    Ask your child’s doctor to plot height and growth measurements on a growth chart at each visit. A growth chart shows how a child’s body measurement compares with other children who are the exact same age and sex. Each growth chart contains percentiles, which rank the position of a child by indicating what percent of the reference population the individual would equal or exceed.2 If you’re having trouble understanding how your child is growing or how the growth chart is presented, speak up and ask the doctor for an explanation.

    Children should be growing at least 2 to 2.5 inches each year after the age of 2 and before puberty.3

  2. Take an active role in your child’s health by keeping your own records at home.

    Records of growth should be kept with measurements every 3 to 6 months for infants and yearly for children over 2 years of age.4

    It is important to obtain accurate measurements about your child’s height and weight, and paying attention to height markers can help catch problems in their early stages. Discuss your child’s measurements with his or her doctor at each visit.

  3. Speak to your doctor about your family history and child’s medical history.

    A child’s growth pattern is a good indicator of his or her overall health. Addressing your family history and child’s medical history, as well as growth patterns, will help your child’s physician determine what potential causes could be affecting your child’s growth and overall health.
  4. Get more information from the MAGIC Foundation.

    The MAGIC Foundation offers resources such as a measurement guide and growth chart to help track growth and prompt important conversation points with a doctor. For more information, visit www.magicfoundation.org.

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© 2014 Novo Nordisk   All rights reserved.   0814-00022957-1   September 2014

1 Oostdijk W, Grote FK, de Muinck Keizer-Schrama SM, Wit JM. Diagnostic Approach in Children with Short Stature. Horm Res. 2009;72(4): 206-217. doi: 10.1159/000236082.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Staff. Growth Charts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/growthchart_faq.htm. Published August 4, 2009. Accessed September 17, 2014.

3 Magic Foundation Staff. Understanding Growth. Magic Foundation. http://www.magicfoundation.org/www/docs/1236.2531/measuring-childrens-height. Published Date Unknown. Accessed September 17, 2014.

4 Magic Foundation Staff. What Causes Children to Grow Poorly? Part III. Magic Foundation. https://www.magicfoundation.org/www/docs/1237.2774/children-grow-poorly.html. Published Date Unknown. Accessed September 17, 2014.


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