Medical Encyclopedia


Medical Encyclopedia

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Delayed growth

Contents of this page:


Toddler development
Toddler development

Alternative Names    Return to top

Growth - 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.

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The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2009, A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.