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Alternative Names Return to topGrowth - slow (child 0 - 5 years); Weight gain - slow (child 0 - 5 years); Slow rate of growth; Retarded growth and development
Definition Return to top
Delayed growth is poor or abnormally slow height or weight gains in a child younger than age 5.
See also: Short stature
Considerations Return to top
A child should have regular, well-baby check-ups with a health care provider.
See the following for more information:
Causes Return to top
Delayed or slower-than-expected growth can be caused by many different things, including:
Many children with delayed growth also have delays in development.
See also: Failure to thrive
Home Care Return to top
If slow weight gain is due to a lack of calories, try feeding the child on demand. Increase the amount offered to the child, and offer nutritional, high-calorie foods. Also, prepare formula exactly according to directions. Do not water down (dilute) ready-to-feed formula.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Contact your health care provider if you think notice developmental delays or think eemotional issues may be contributing to a child's delayed growth.
If your child is not growing due to lack of calories, your health care provider can refer you to a nutrition expert who can help you choose the right foods to offer your child.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
The health care provider will examine the child and measure height, weight, and head circumference. The parent or caregiver will be asked questions about the child's medical history, including:
Ther health care provider may also ask questions about parenting habits and the child's social interactions.
Tests may include:Update Date: 2/27/2009 Updated by: Jennifer K. Mannheim, CPNP, private practice, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.