Baby Development

Is your child short?

Is your child short?


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Growth begins with fertilization and continues until the end of puberty. Although growth capacity is genetically determined, many factors, mainly nutrition, affect growth.

In the prenatal period, the health of the mother and fetus and the nutrition of the mother are the most important factors affecting growth. Nutrition is the main factor in growth in the first two years after birth. After two years of age, genetic height capacity becomes prominent. In the following years, the age of onset and progression of adolescence also have a significant share in the final size. In order for a child to grow in accordance with the genetic background (height capacity of the family), first of all, there is no chromosomal disease that will affect growth, and thyroid and growth hormones that directly affect growth need to be released at normal levels. If the child does not have any chronic disease, but also adequate and balanced nutrition is expected to grow in accordance with the genetic background.

Growth controls are common in infancy, and the doctor can easily recognize changes over the growth curve and take precautions. In the period of play and school childhood, the growth controls of the child who is taken to the doctor can be disrupted. However, the families of the children who are significantly shorter than their friends at school, therefore consult a doctor. Children whose growth curve declines from the previous interval or is lower than the expected range from genetics are taken for further examination. In the examinations, it is evaluated whether the child has a chronic disease, thyroid deficiency or hormone deficiency or adolescence.

Even if all examinations are normal, there are situations in which the approach to the short child should be questioned and corrected if necessary. They overlook many times; healthy eating, regular sleep and age-appropriate physical activity. Nutritional disorders are more common than expected. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of children who do not like vegetables and fruits and tend to eat fast food. With this diet, obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, early puberty and related problems can develop. In addition, hormones and chemicals used in the production of food cause problems that we know and do not know yet. Acidic beverages are the cause of early osteoporosis if consumed too much. Vitamin deficiencies that may develop with refined foods and so on. are important factors affecting growth.

There are food groups that need to be taken into consideration in sufficient amounts during childhood. First of all, meat and egg consumption which is accepted as high quality protein should be controlled. At least one egg or 3 meatballs per day is required for new tissue production and repair of damaged tissue. Milk group is important for bone growth and health. 2 cups of milk or milk product per day should be in nutrition. During adolescence, calcium supplementation may also be required. In the meantime, to grow vitamin D, iron and zinc should be taken enough to make sure. Zinc, almond, walnut, hazelnut, meat, shellfish, seed plants, milk group can be supplemented with foods, but vitamin D can not be taken in sufficient amounts with foods. Vitamin D deficiency is more common in children who do not benefit from the sun. In case of deficiency should be supplemented. It is necessary to ensure that all nutritional groups are utilized in an adequate and balanced manner.

Sleep is a period in which the body's metabolism is balanced, tissue regeneration is done and hormones are intensely secreted. Given that growth hormone is also secreted intensely during nighttime sleep, it can be predicted to what extent an inadequate nighttime sleep may affect growth. Physical activity is extremely important for bone and muscle development. In addition, activity makes one feel good, has positive effects on cardiovascular health and helps to sleep quality. In this respect, it is sufficient to give children the opportunity to demonstrate their natural activities. Today, due to urbanization and the abundance of exams, solutions are needed for children who are closed at home.

As a result, the basic principles of helping a child who cannot grow up without a healthy and physical disability are as follows; Adequate and balanced nutrition, prevention of vitamin deficiencies, feeding as much natural food as possible, especially milk should be supported. Appropriate environments for healthy sleep and physical activity should be provided and children and adolescents should be ensured that they do not have a bad habit.

American Hospital
Pediatric Endocrinologist
Dr. View Nihal's Full Profile



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