Child Growth

The major issues of non-infancy are related to the special metabolic needs for growth, which are covered entirely in the contents of this book in the metabolic and endocrine sections.

Between the age of 11-13 years, female estrogens begin to form and cause a rapid increase in height, but the cartilage covering the bones of the long bone rapidly fuses around 14-16 years, thus increasing height later that was stopped. In contrast, the effects of testosterone in men on elongation occur a little later – primarily between the ages of 13 and 17. In men, however, the stage of growth is prolonged because of slow fusion of epiphyses, and ultimately male height is significantly higher than female.

  • Developing children’s behavior

Behavioral development is mainly related to the perfection of the nervous system. It is difficult to distinguish between perfection of the anatomical structure of the nervous system or by education. Anatomic research found that the central nervous system’s large neural tubes were not fully myelinated until the end of the first year. For this reason, the state of the nervous system is not fully functional at birth. Cerebral cortex and associated functions, such as vision, seem to take months after birth to fully develop function.

The child’s brain mass at birth was only 26% of that of an adult brain mass and 55% at 1 year of age, but it was almost equivalent to an adult’s after a few years.

This process is also associated with the closure and joining of the skull bones, which allow for a 20% increase in brain volume after a few years of age. The figure shows a graph of the child’s growth during the first year. A comparison of the actual growth versus the baby’s growth chart is used for the clinical evaluation of brain development and behavior.

* How to use weight and height charts for babies

Every month on a fixed day, mothers weigh and measure the baby’s height and weight, then follow the chart with the correct age of the baby and match the score of the previous month with this month to form a line representing the weight and height little. If the curve is equivalent to the standard curve highlighted in the center and placed in a safe green area, your baby is growing well and healthy.

  • Evaluate your child’s health status according to the chart

When the chart is horizontal: The baby is not gaining weight and height. If the chart is horizontal for more than 2 consecutive months, it means the baby is having a health problem. Children may suffer from malabsorption, anorexia, etc. The child is at risk of malnutrition.

When the chart goes down: It proves that the baby is not growing well, there are dangerous malnutrition signs, maybe the child is suffering from diarrhea, pneumonia. There are also cases where mothers practice babies to eat too early (before 4 months), so it can affect the baby’s digestive system, causing the baby to lose weight,  ..

Straight line up the chart: The ideal line in the bar frame allows to show that your baby is still growing steadily after each weighing cycle. The chart goes up, proving a stable baby’s health.

When the chart goes up: Mothers should also note that the chart goes up quickly and is higher than the allowed threshold suddenly, proving that the baby is showing signs of overweight, even the baby is obese. In this case, it is advisable to adjust the nutritional intake of each child’s meal accordingly. Increase your child’s use of more green vegetables, less carbs and replace animal fats with vegetable fats.

Growth charts for boys tend to increase faster than girls’ growth charts. Therefore, babies should not be compared. Mothers just need to see their child’s growth chart to monitor their child’s health status, to intervene promptly when needed.

* How is normal regarding the child’s development?

  • What is normal development?

Children have different developmental periods. For example, boys grow faster than girls until 7 months of age, after this period girls will grow faster until the baby is 4 years old. From the age of 4 through puberty, boys and girls will have similar growth rates.

The child’s size depends greatly on the parent. Tall parents will have tall children and as a rule, “small” parents will give birth to “little children”. If both the mother and father are not tall, then it is not a problem for the child to “lack the size”, they will still develop and enter puberty normally.

  • What factors affect a child’s growth?

Nutrition, genetic factors and hormones all affect a child’s growth. The cause of the slow growth of the child may be due to the poor nutrition or a certain disorder.

  • So what is the cause?

Children with growth problems can be caused by a variety of reasons, here are some common reasons:

If the child develops at a normal rate but is still younger than the age, it is called physical development delay. The reason may be that children with “bone age” develop more slowly than “age”. In this case, puberty is likely to be reversed until the skeleton develops in time. Often these children will have a relative or relative who experiences a similar situation

If your child has a shorter weight and height for their age, they may be malnourished. The most common cause is problems with feeding or lack of nutrients in the diet. It could also be a sign of other problems such as an infection, a gastrointestinal abnormality, or possible neglect or abuse.

Hormonal problems: A significant increase or decrease in a particular hormone is also responsible for growth disorders in the first 10 years. Children with hypothyroidism, for example, will not produce enough hormones needed for bone development.

Chronic illness: This is also one of the causes of growth retardation in children. Some common chronic diseases are: asthma, congenital heart disease, chronic kidney failure. Babies with neuromuscular disease, cleft palate, or some mental problems will also lead to poor appetite. Some diseases such as heart failure, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, HIV infection also interfere with the absorption of nutrients by the body.

Other causes include genetic disorders (eg Turner syndrome), infections in pregnancy, tobacco and alcohol use during pregnancy, etc.

To know if a child is developing normally or not, first of all, it is necessary to evaluate the child’s physical growth and mental development.

  • Evaluate physical growth

A simple method to evaluate children’s growth at home is the monitoring of the child’s weight development. The average weight of a full term newborn is 2.9-3kg. If the baby’s birth weight is less than 2.5kg, it is a premature baby or fetus malnutrition.

Weight in the first year increased very quickly, at 5-6 months, the weight doubled and a year increased 3 times at birth. In the first 6 months, each month increases by an average of 600g; In the last 6 months of the year, each month babies increase by 500g on average.

The child’s weight from the second year onwards, an average annual increase of 1.5 kg. Weight reflects health and nutrition status, so the best way to assess a child’s growth is to monitor their weight continuously every month, every year, especially for children under 5 years old. If the baby’s weight in the next month, or the next time does not increase or lose more weight than the previous month’s weight, the child is sick or undernourished, the child must immediately go to the medical facility for examination and have prompt handling advice.

Each child needs a chart to track weight development, called a growth chart. This growth chart has already printed the standard normal weight growth curve. Parents only need to weigh their babies monthly and mark on the board, match the next time with the previous time. If the weight mark the next time is higher than the weight of the previous time, the child is developing normally, if the dot is horizontal and lower than the previous time, the child is sick or undernourished, need to go to the medical facility to find the cause to overcome. right.

Combining all the weight dots, we will have a line representing the child’s growth, called the child’s health path, the child’s weight line going up, getting higher and higher, within the standard development line. is a normal adult.


  • Evaluate your mental development

Newborns under 1 month: Immediately after birth, babies have some important reflexes such as sucking, sucking, swallowing, holding hands, cramping when stimulating. At 3 weeks of age, eye movements can be monitored.

Children 2 months: From 4-6 weeks old, children can wait for stories, smile, eyes can see moving light objects.

Children 3 months: Children are interested in the surrounding situation, when awake, they can look for sources of sounds, mobile animals,

Children 4-5 months: Children are agile, follow around, love to laugh, love to play with toys.

Children 6-9 months: Children know strange, babble two sounds, can imitate, they are very agile, interested in toys. At 9 months there are feelings of joy, fear, and understanding of simple words.

Children 10-12 months: Children can learn to speak, understand some words, wave goodbye to others, and say some simple words.

Children 1-2 years old: Children like to expand relationships with others, like to imitate people around them, rapid development of words, understanding many things, maybe only body parts when asked.

Children 3 years old: Words develop quickly, have good receptive ability, children can memorize short songs.

Children 4-6 years: Strongly developed voices, children learn long songs, love to learn around, have the ability to analyze, synthesize, develop psychophysiology.

  • Overview of the growth chart

Looking at any class you will easily notice the difference between height and weight in children of the same age. Some children look small next to their peers, while some are too tall for their age.

Easily compare and draw conclusions about what you see, but actually children grow at their own pace. Big, small, tall, short – a variety of growth patterns in children.

Genetics, gender, nutrition, physical activity, health problems, environment, hormones, and lifestyle factors such as nutrition and physical activity affect height and weight. of children. And these factors affect every child in every family.

So how does the doctor find out if a child’s height and weight are “normal”? Whether that boy or girl is developing in the right direction? Whether any health problems are affecting growth?

Your doctor will use growth charts to answer those questions. Here are some facts about growth charts and what they represent about your child’s health.

  • Why do doctors use growth charts?

Growth charts are a standard part of any checkup, a chart that helps the doctor compare a child’s development over each stage.

For example, a child on normal growth suddenly slows down at age 2, indicating that the child is having health problems. Doctors will easily see through that through growth chart.

  • What can a growth chart show?

The doctor will interpret the growth charts in the overall context such as the child’s environment, and the genetic background. Did the child meet the standard development milestones? Are there signs of abnormal growth in the child? How can I improve my child’s height and weight? Special care for premature babies? Has your child started early, late or normal puberty? These are all factors that doctors will use to show growth on a growth chart.

Are all children measured on the same growth chart?

Boys and girls will be measured on different growth charts, because of different genders, different stages of development.

The chart is used for infants, from birth to 36 months of age. A set of charts used for children 2-20 years old. Additionally, growth charts are specifically used for children with certain health conditions, such as Down syndrome.

Standard growth charts include:

  • From birth to 36 months (3 years old):
  • Boy’s height and weight by age
  • Girl’s height and weight by age

Ages 2 to 20 years:

  • Girl’s body and weight by age
  • Boy’s physique and weight by age
  • Weight based on the girl’s physique (height)
  • Weight based on the boy’s physique (height)

Growth chart ranks the child’s development through each stage?

The numbers will always be updated during the period of the baby 36 months old, the doctors measure weight, length and head circumference.

For older children, the doctor will measure weight, height, and body mass index (BMI). It is important to review and compare weight and height measurements to get an overview of a child’s development.

  • Why must measure head circumference?

In children, head circumference (the distance around the largest part of the head) can provide clues about brain development. If a baby’s head circumference is bigger or smaller than most other kids’ or head circumference stops increasing or increasing quickly, it could be a health problem.

For example, an abnormally large head could be a sign of hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the brain. Or a head that is smaller than average could be a sign that the brain is not developing properly or has stopped growing.

What is the percentile?

Percentile is the measure of comparing a child with a child. On a growth chart, the percentiles are displayed as lines drawn in a curved model.

How to control the percentile curve?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) creates the most used growth charts in the United States. They were last updated in 2000. After collecting growth measurements from thousands of American children over a period of time, the CDC was able to see the range of measurements on a chart, use differential curves.

A child that is tall or short for their age is not necessarily a health problem. For example, a child is in the top 10 in terms of weight and height, so 10% of this child is taller than other children, and 90% shorter than peers, it matters if The child’s parents are smaller than average height, the child’s development is inherited from hereditary genes, the child develops normally.

  • What does the growth chart indicate?

Several different growth chart patterns can signal a health problem, such as:

When a child’s weight or height changes percentage from a given pattern. Example: If height and weight are always on the 60th percentile until a 5-year-old child, then height has decreased to the 30th percentile by age 6, which can indicate are having a growth problem because the growth pattern has changed. Many children may show changes in the growth percentile at some point in development, when it is normal for growth rates to vary more from children. This is especially common during childhood and puberty.

When children don’t increase height, they only gain weight. For example, the child’s height is at the 40th percentile and the weight is at the 85th percentile, so the child is 40% taller than children of the same age but 85% heavier than children of the same age. That could be a problem.

* Child’s excessive weight gain

The cause of obesity in children is simple: due to a change in energy balance, an increase in the amount of intake and reduction in consumption increases the accumulation of fat in the body, especially in the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and shoulders.

The simple form of obesity is common in obese children who are gluttonous, inactive and have decreased body temperature metabolism. Children who are obese are usually higher in pre-puberty, but long term they stop growing early and have a low average height in adulthood.

This form of obesity is often familial. Children whose parents and grandparents are obese are often at risk of obesity, and may find the gene that causes obesity (leptin). If parents are also overweight, their children are up to 70–80% susceptible to obesity. In cases where only one of the births is obese, this number decreases to 40–50% in life. If parents are not obese, the probability of children being born with obesity in children is only about 1%.

* Should we weigh the child often?

Parents need to check the child’s weight regularly, especially when the baby is in the first few months to detect the baby’s condition early. The weight of a normal full term baby is about 2.9 -3.8 kg.

Infants under 6 months, the average increase per month is at least 600 grams or 125 grams per week. Older than 6 months old, babies increase on average 500 grams / month. During the second year of birth, the average growth rate of weight is 2.5-3 kg. After 2 years the average annual growth rate is 2kg until puberty.

When measuring the baby’s weight to best measure the mother should measure after the baby pee or defecate. Don’t forget to subtract the weight of clothes and diapers (about 200-400 grams). During the first year, mothers should weigh their babies once a month. The boys will weigh slightly more than girls, mothers don’t need to worry too much. Helping mothers to know their child’s weight is normal or not, if they are malnourished or overweight, do not invite mothers to see the table below:

When mothers weigh their babies, they should weigh at least 1 time / week for the first 6-8 weeks, then it can be reduced to 1-2 times / month until the baby is 4 months old. From 5 months to 2 years old, give your baby weight 1 time / month. At preschool age, children need to be monitored weight each month to know if the body is developing well or not. You should weigh your baby on a certain day of the month (you can choose the date your baby is born) and then draw a “health path” for easy tracking.

Healthy balance is not only good for the baby, but the baby is very good for pregnant women. Pregnant women should weigh regularly to check the weight of the fetus. It is very important. Scientific studies have proven, women who gain too much weight during pregnancy will have a higher risk of cesarean section. They also tend to get a lot fat after birth and subsequent pregnancies. This will be very dangerous for women who are overweight or obese because they are at risk of dangerous diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

* Obesity status

Children are overweight and obese for many reasons. Factors related to genetics, physical activity, and diet are common causes of this condition. In addition, health-related problems such as hormone disorders also have the risk of causing overweight and obesity. You can give your child a blood test and a physical exam to find out the cause of obesity.

Although their weight is partly influenced by genetics, not all children whose parents have a history of obesity will be overweight. Parents with a history of obesity often affect other characteristics of children’s eating and resting habits more.

Children’s diet and play play an important role in determining weight. Besides, inactivity is also a factor contributing to the disease. Instead of going out to run and play, children tend to be glued to television screens or mobile devices to play games or watch cartoons more. The development of invisible technology generally negatively affects a child’s health and weight.

* Children’s stature

The height of a child is often known to depend heavily on genetic factors from their parents. However, this number is also influenced by many other factors. Studies have shown that the child’s height depends about 20% on genetics, the rest is influenced by nutritional factors, sports training and environmental – social factors.


In fact, regular exercise and sports has a very good effect on the development of fitness, especially height. Many sports can help stimulate children’s height development such as swimming, high jump, running …

Environment – society is also a factor affecting the child’s height development. Children are susceptible to stunting and malnutrition in underdeveloped socio-economic conditions, inadequate sanitation, inadequate clean water and poor quality of care.

Mothers are aware that their children need a full complement of nutrients as well as proper exercise to develop comprehensively. However, it is always a big question of mothers to focus on which stage to have the optimal height. According to the recommendations of nutritionists, between the age of one and eight years, children need to be provided with adequate nutrients to create a foundation for maximum growth in height during puberty.

Colostrum – the milk produced in the first 48 hours after birth is rich in nutrients, helping to strengthen the child’s immune system. According to scientific research by Korean professors, the composition of colostrum also helps children develop in height. Based on the outstanding benefits of colostrum, scientists have researched and created products containing standardized colostrum (CBP) to help children grow taller and strengthen the immune system. The active ingredients in standardized colostrum provide many nutrients, stimulating the development of the digestive system, thereby helping the baby grow taller.

However, the addition of nutrients only works when the child absorbs nutrients well. Therefore, the addition of probiotics with the scientific combination of the five probiotics is essential. The mixture of beneficial bacteria that produces lactic acid and probiotics will help children absorb maximum nutrients, and support digestion, helping children grow and stay healthy.

* Factors that affect child stature

Genetic factors

When it comes to the child’s stature, people often think of genetic factors that will largely determine. But many scientific studies have proven that this is just one of the factors that make up a child’s stature, not a factor that completely or largely determines the child’s height and weight.

According to many studies of scientists, the child’s physical growth and stature are directly affected by diet. The child’s height is only affected by 23% from genetic factors (genes of grandparents and parents). In addition, nutrition contributes 32%; 20% decided on the regime of movement and sport. The rest are the factors of living environment, chronic and congenital diseases, resting mode …

Pregnancy and childbirth period

During pregnancy, maternal nutrition affects fetal weight and growth length. Therefore, before pregnancy, during pregnancy and lactation, the mother must eat a full range of important nutrients such as protein, iodine, iron, folic acid, unsaturated fatty acids. (DHA, ARA) etc. for your child to develop well.

Early Puberty

Early puberty is the phenomenon of girls puberty appearing before 8 years old and boys before 9 years old. Early puberty often releases hormones that trigger bone growth, causing babies to grow taller very quickly. However, the bones quickly close so that children do not continue to grow taller, children with early puberty are often shorter than their peers and do not reach the height specified by their genetic genes. Therefore, early puberty is one of the reasons that inhibit the height growth in adolescents.

Overweight, obesity

Children who are overweight and obese tend to be taller than their age, but when they reach puberty, their height stops growing and they tend to be shorter than their peers. At the same time, when teenagers are afraid of being fat, they want to lose weight quickly, so dieting with ice cream and lack of quality is also the cause of later fitness and height.

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