My child is not very big, is it annoying?

Advice from the pediatrician

Your child is starting to become fixated on his or her size and is comparing himself or herself to his or her friends. For you, this becomes one of your main concerns. You are worried that he may feel complex. What if you missed a health problem? On a case-by-case basis,

He has to deal with his heredity

Today’s children are taller than they were two or three generations ago, thanks in part to more favourable dietary and environmental factors. Nevertheless, size is part of the inheritance you pass on to your child.

If you are not giants in the family, there is little likelihood that your offspring’s growth curve will culminate in height.

What you need to do. Give them as many chances as possible to gain centimetres. Choose a rich and varied diet. Teach them to stand up straight.

Resist the cult of greatness. Cultivate its difference and take yourself as an example! You, his parents, are proof that you can blossom even when you’re not very tall.

What to say to him. “In life, it’s not size that makes you a remarkable and fulfilled person.”

He has a lazy growth

Your child’s bones may grow slowly for genetic reasons that are not serious. This leads to a discrepancy between their actual age and the age of their bones and explains their growth curve.

What to do. To verify this possibility, the pediatrician will have an x-ray taken of your child’s left wrist to determine the bone age of your child. If the examination reveals that your child’s bone age is lower than his or her actual age, for example 8 years of bone age for a 10-year-old, this indicates that growth potential is preserved. You’ll just have to be patient.

Conversely, if the bone age is the same or higher than your child’s actual age, your doctor will refer you to an endocrinologist for further tests.

What to tell him/her. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of your height history. You’re going to get an x-ray of your wrist to make sure everything is normal.”

He’s iron-deficient

Recently, your child has been having one illness after another, and it is possible that these setbacks have led to anemia. Iron deficiency can slow a child’s growth.

What to do. The pediatrician will order a blood test to check if your child is anemic. If it is the case, he will prescribe an iron supplementation.

What to tell him. “Your body has been tested with these diseases. It is exhausted and can no longer find the strength to grow. To help it, you will have to take care of yourself by eating well and resting.”

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