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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


My eleven-year-old son is only 50 inches tall and weights 50 pounds. After checking your charts, he is way below normal. His father is 70 inches and I am 60 inches. Should we have him tested to see if his growth hormone levels are correct?
    
In order to properly answer your question, we would need to know the height of your son at his other well-child checkups. With the information you did provide, however, we will try to answer your question.

Your son has a couple more years before he begins his adolescent growth spurt. In boys, this occurs between 13 and 15 years of age and comes to a stop around 15-16 years of age. (Just to be fair, the adolescent growth spurt in girls occurs at about ages 11-12 years and is usually complete at age 14.4 years.) Using one of the many “formulas” to predict adult height, we estimate your son will be somewhere in the vicinity of 58 inches (5'8") as an adult.

Always make sure you share your concerns with your pediatrician so he or she can follow your son’s growth chart carefully. Your doctor might recommend a bone age test. for your son. This test consists of a single x-ray of the hand and wrist and is used to measure the physical developmental status of children. Your son’s x-ray is matched to a standard atlas of skeletal maturity based on age and sex. The radiologist reports would then report to the doctor your son’s bone age in relationship to his chronological age. If your son has the test done and his bone age is within normal limits, then he is growing according to his “genetic blueprint.” On the other hand, if his bone age is at least six months delayed, then there could be medical problem causing him to be on the short side.

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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