Normal Growth Patterns in Children
Not only is watching your child grow up in front of your eyes a joy but it is a phenomenal journey we take as parents. Like most parents, I received a growth chart from my pediatrician. In pediatrics, the essential growth measurements for children ages 3 years and up, the essential measurements are height, weight, and body mass index (BMI).
One should monitor the growth of their child. Understanding what the normal growth patterns in children in India are helps in detecting early changes in a child's growth. Growth monitoring is the regular measurement of a child's size (weight, height or length and head circumference) in order to document growth. The child's size measurements must then be plotted on a growth chart.
While we kept a documented record of my son's height and weight at each doctor visit, I kept certain markings in the house for me to trace how my son was growing. For eg., when he started standing, he could reach the edge of the bed. Gradually he was able to touch the top of the table. He is four years old now and can reach the switches in most rooms.
There is a growth curve which illustrates the way a child is growing over a period of time.
● It shows whether the child is growing normally, faster or slower than expected.
● It is also very useful in identifying sudden weight loss.
A growth curve can be determined when a child’s size measurements have been made on two or more doctor visits and have been plotted as dots on a growth chart. If these dots are now joined together with a line, you will have a growth curve. Both growing too slowly or too fast may indicate a nutritional or other health problem. Therefore, growth monitoring is an essential part of primary health care in children.
Most children double their weight from birth to 6 months and treble their birth weight by one year. The increase in weight and height or length is fastest in the first year of life and then slows down until puberty when growth is again fast for a short while. In older children, height is the better index of growth.
These growth patterns indicate that the child may have a medical, nutritional or social problem. It is, therefore, very important that all children who do not have a normal growth pattern are identified as soon as possible in order that they can be carefully examined. Some of these children will be healthy even if their growth pattern differs from the average.
The growth chart is an extremely important method of screening children for nutritional deficiencies. PediaSure’s Grow Right Tracker is an easy way to understand your child’s growth patterns on a regular basis. In my opinion it is the #FirstStepToGrowRight
Without any complication it allows you to enter the required data and it calculates the growth percentile. You of course need to also understand the factors involved in growth.
There are many factors that contribute to the growth of a child.
A balanced diet:
Being a mom, I am always concerned about my son’s health and I try to make sure that he gets nutritious meals. I make sure that my son has at least one fruit a day, a glass of milk with his favourite PediaSure, protein in the form of lentils, paneer, eggs or meat. A well-balanced diet which is a mix of fruits and vegetables is very essential for proper child growth. A healthy diet doesn’t only provide the right nutrients but also makes the child strong.
With the boom in technology and the availability of electronic gadgets in the last 15-20 years, the physical activity of children all over the world has decreased. Exercise is essential for both mental and physical development of a child. I make sure that my son has some form of physical activity, every day. It varies from running, skipping or jumping.
Sleep also affects your child’s growth. Maximum growth hormone stimulation takes place when you sleep. Not only this, but good sleep also calms the mind and enhances efficiency. Make sure that your child sleeps early at night. Children of the age group 3-5 years need 10-13 hours of sleep, school-age children between 6-13 years should sleep for around 9-11 hours a day. Teenagers should take a proper sleep of 8-10 hours.
As much as physical activity is important for the growth of a child, having a positive environment at home is equally important as well. A lot of changes take place in the body of a baby in the first few years. Interact a lot with your child. The more you interact, the better your child’s communication skills will be in future. Active interaction promotes the growth of the child’s mind. Love and emotional security are needed for normal growth. Stressed and emotionally deprived children grow slower than normal and may become stunted.
After you download the report from the tracker, in case you feel that your child is not growing as per the standards, get in touch with your pediatrician immediately and discuss the measures you need to take. It is always a combination of things that help your journey of parenthood easier. I’m glad the Grow Right tracker I use is part of that journey.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not reflect the views of any brand. Any omissions or errors at the author's end does not assume any liability or responsibility on any party mentioned in the blog.