GROWTH DISORDER

Fairy tales are filled with stories of giants and little people. The stories were written hundreds of years ago, and they sometimes tried to explain why these people looked different from others around them. These old-fashioned fairy tales might have been different if the writers had known what todays doctors have learned about growth. Whats a Growth Disorder? Everyone grows and matures differently.

You may be taller than your best friend in fourth grade. But then in sixth grade, your best friend may be an inch taller than you. Usually, this is totally normal. A growth disorder, however, means that a kid has abnormal growth for example, growing a lot slower or a lot faster than other kids the same age. Whats Normal Growth? If growth isnt the same for all kids, how do doctors know whats normal? By feet and inches (or meters and centimeters)! Over the years, lots of height and weight measurements have been taken for lots of children of different ages.

These measurements have been put together in what is called a standard growth chart, which tells doctors about how most kids grow. From the time you were a baby, your doctor has weighed and measured you whenever youve had a checkup. Because kids grow differently, your doctor checks your height against the standard growth chart. If you are in the 50th percentile on the growth chart, it means half of the kids your age are faller than you are and half are Shorter. If you fall in the 25th percentile that means 75% of the kids your age are taller and 25% are shorter, and so on.

Most kids whose heights are between the 3rd percentile and the 97th percentile and who are growing at a steady rate are considered to have normal growth. Kids who are higher or lower than this on the growth chart are usually normal, too. But some children who are under the 3rd percentile or over the 97th percentile, or who are growing a lot slower or faster than most other kids, may have a growth problem. In this situation, the doctor will usually want to check things out.

One thing your doctor will want to know is how tall your mother and father are and how they grew when they were children. You may have inherited short or tall genes from them. You may also have inherited the tendency to have your growth spurt earlier or later than most other kids do.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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