The height is one of several aspects of a child’s overall development. Parents want their children to attain ideal height one that matches their weight and physique. They will do all that it takes, from giving them the nutritious foods to encouraging them to the exercise, to promote the height gain. But besides nutrition and activity, there are several other factors, including height of parents that can influence child’s adult height. we give you essential information about determining child’s final height and factors that influence it the most.
How Tall Will My Child Be?
Experts state that it is difficult to predict how tall child can grow since several factors determine the child’s height. Several physical changes also occur during the puberty, and growth spurts can increase the child’s height by two inches per year. So it is not really possible to estimate child’s height before puberty.
if you still want to try and figure out your child’s probable height, you can try methods to predict height of the child.
Can I Estimate My Child’s Height
There are few techniques to get rough estimate of child’s adult height. Here are some of them.
1. Doubling the height
This method is useful if child has just turned two.
Take child’s height in inches at the age of two years. Multiply height with two to arrive at probable adult height.
For example, if child’s height at age of two years is 35 inches, they will probably attain the height of 70 inches (5 feet 8 inches) as adult.
This method is not backed by the scientific research but may still provide some idea about child’s adult height.
2. Mid-parental height calculation method
The mid-parental height calculation method takes into account parent’s height to speculate child’s adult height. According to American Academy of Family Physicians, this method gives the child’s projected adult height based on heights of the parents.
If calculating the child’s height in centimeters:
The Boys height: [Father’s height in cm + (Mother’s height in cm + 13cm)] / 2
The Girls height : [(Father’s height in cm – 13 cm) + Mother’s height in cm] / 2
If calculating the child’s height in inches:
The Boys height: [(Mother’s height + Father’s height) / 2] + 2.5 inches
The Girls height: [(Mother’s height + Father’s height) / 2] – 2.5 inches
The mid-parental method can have margin of error of four inches (10.1 centimeters), either way.
3. Bone age assessment
It is most accurate way of predicting child’s likely adult height. However, this method requires X-ray and an interpretation of the X-ray by a doctor, and thus cannot be done at home.
The bone age assessment method uses the X-ray of hand and wrist to determine how far the bones have developed . Based on that,the doctor can estimate further bone formation, if any, in the child, which in turn can help predict the likely adult height of child.
Depending on the age of the child, the doctor may take the X-ray of the other areas of the body, such as clavicle, to estimate the height.
Doctors usually go for bone age assessment method for children who seem to have a considerably shorter or taller stature for their age.
The above methods only provide estimate and not the definite adult height. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that when it comes to child’s adult height, no one has a crystal ball.So there is no way to know for sure how tall your son or daughter will be as an adult in future.
What Are The Factors Influence The Child’s Height As An Adult?
Several environmental conditions and the natural attributes affect child’s adult height. Some of those viral factors are explained here.
1. Genetics and family history
The parents’ height plays significant role in how tall child will be the genes determine around 80% of child’s adult height. That is why children grow up to height that is more or less the same as parents’ height.
Note that single gene doesn’t determine height; more than 700 gene variants can influence how tall the child will be. An interplay of genes influences child’s height, as the genes interact with one another in several ways, and could result in the exceptions. It means that the parents who are short in height may have a child who is tall and tall parents may have a child with shorter stature.
2. Health and nutrition
A child’s overall health plus nourishment they receive will also influence their height. Malnourished children may develop the short stature as an adult. Children who do not get enough nutrition to support the healthy growth are at risk of having short stature, in spite of their parents being tall.
The Physical activity of child may also have an influence on their height as adult. However, experts state that the regular exercise in the childhood does not guarantee better height as an adult.
3. Diseases and congenital problems
Several congenital problems and the childhood diseases can impact the outcome of child’s height as an adult. These conditions can be an outcome of the poor nutrition or the result of a genetic anomaly. For example, the rickets, which is caused by low level of vitamin D in the body, is known to result in short stature.
A few examples of the congenital genetic problems that cause a the short stature are Noonan syndrome, Down syndrome, and the Turner syndrome. Some conditions like the Marfan syndrome can cause a child to become tall and slender. Some forms of cancer may also cause abnormalities in the height.
4. Level of hormones
The Hormonal imbalance can also influence the child’s height. Problems in pituitary gland can cause too much or too little secretion of growth hormone due to which the child can grow too tall or remain too short as the adult. The secretion of the thyroid hormones plays an essential role too.
Certain medicines may have an impact on adult height of the child. For instance, the long-term use of the inhaled corticosteroids by children with the asthma may reduce the adult height by a centimeter. Nevertheless, the effect of medicine on the adult height can depend on concentration of dosage, the duration of prescription, and overall health of the child.
Except for the genetics and the congenital problems, other factors may be controlled to some extent.
When To Be Concerned About The Child’s Height?
It will be ideal to see the physician if:
The child is significantly shorter or taller than most children of the age. The best way to check is to compare child’s height with that of their classmates or the cousins of the same age.
There is sudden and rapid increase in the height of the child who was otherwise displaying an average growth.
The child appears to have stopped growing tall and is showing no signs of gaining height.
There is change in the way the child grows after they started taking the specific medicines.
Keeping track of child’s height as they grow in age can help determine whether or not their growth pattern is normal.
Resources To Check Child’s Height
You can use following resources to determine the average growth of child’s height:
CDC growth charts
Since several factors can influence the height, the growth charts can be used to check for healthy growth of the child, in comparison to other children of same age. CDC growth charts are created by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the healthcare professionals and the parents. You can plot the height of the child to know if they fall in normal range.
The chart divides height based on the percentile ranging from 5th percentile to the 95th percentile. If your child’s height lies below 5th percentile or is greater than 95th percentile, then it is ideal to see doctor.
The following are charts for the boys and the girls:
- CDC stature-for-age chart for boys
- CDC stature-for-age chart for girls
While good height is desirable, it shouldn’t be a concern as long as the child is healthy. Remember, height of child as an adult will significantly depend on parents’ height, and there is nothing one can do to change it. Continue to provide best nourishment and lots of love to the little one so that they grow into the healthy individuals with the ideal weight and height.
If you’re concerned about the child’s growth, it’s important to seek the medical care before they complete the puberty, as they will usually stop growing after that time. Treatments may be available for the children who are not growing as expected. If you have the concerns, your child’s pediatrician is an excellent place to start and get treated.
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