Growth is a fundamental aspect of a child’s development. For this reason, one of the important tasks of the pediatrician is to accurately track physical changes from birth to final adult height.
Growth monitoring in children
Normally the growth monitoring process follows very consistent patterns, which can be monitored by applying the child’s measurements to appropriate growth charts. It is essential to use the most up-to-date charts in order to obtain good conclusions.
Nowadays pediatricians have computer programs that provide a lot of information on what the child’s final size will be, which facilitates the choice of the most appropriate treatment. When a child shows growth retardation, it is necessary, even in the first years of life, to initiate a follow-up and medical studies that can be performed by the pediatrician, in order to know and rule out the different factors that could be behind the growth retardation.
Growth hormones in children
In case of detection of a hormonal problem, the child should be urgently referred to the pediatric endocrinologist. Then, by means of further analytical tests, the deficiencies can be accurately diagnosed which will lead the child to start a specific treatment with growth hormone.
This hormone therapy is applied to patients who meet very specific criteria. It is a well-tolerated treatment, without side effects, and if the prescription is correct and the application is also correct, it achieves very good results.
In certain cases, private treatments, controlled by a specialist, can be performed to increase the height of a patient who needs to gain a few centimeters to reach an adult height that falls within the values accepted by society.
Babies born below the appropriate weight or height, the so-called small for their gestational age that can already be detected at the time of birth, require special vigilance. It is now known that about 15% of them will not recover their age-appropriate measurements, and this would be one of the new indications to start treatment with growth hormone from the age of four.