Do You Know How Your Child Grows?
How much do you know about the way children grow? Take this short
"test" adapted with permission from the Human Growth Foundation.
1. (True/False) After age two, most children grow approximately one
inch each year.
2. (True/False) Growth rate usually slows down after the first
3. (True/False) Parents should be concerned if their child is shorter
than his or her classmates of the same age.
4. (True/False) Short stature can signal more serious medical
5. (True/False) The number of boys with short stature far exceeds
the number of girls.
6. (True/False) Children who eat more and exercise more will grow
up to be taller.
7. (True/False) The average girl grows only two to three inches after
she begins menstruating
8. (True/False) Characteristic of personality are genetically
9. (True/False) Emotional problems can affect a child's growth
10. (True/False) Short children often develop emotional and psychological
11. (True/False) Girls can go through puberty as early as age nine
and as late as age fifteen
12. (True/False) The first sign of puberty in boys is acne or the
appearance of facial hair.
13. (True/False) Most girls have their first period between the ages
of 12 and 13.
14. (True/False) The growth spurt that that goes along with adolescence
usually begins about age 11 in girls and 13 in boys.
15. (True/False) The average baby grows twice as much in height during
the first year compared to the second year.
1. False The average child grows two or more inches per
2. True The rate of growth slows down between the ages of one
and two. Because growth rate slows, appetite slows as well. However, careful
monitoring of growth rates allows for early diagnosis and treatment of short
3. True Although this may not signify a serious medical condition,
parents should always discuss their child's growth with their
4. True While not necessarily indicating a problem, growth
failure may be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as a disease
of the kidneys, heart, or lungs
5. False Most experts believe there should be a 1-to-1 ration
of boys to girls identified as being short. However, a study of 13,000 children
being treated for growth hormone inadequacy found that boys outnumber girls
by 3:1, indicating that many girls with this condition may be under diagnosed
6. False Final adult height is primarily determined by genetic
factors, and correlates with the height of the parents. However, children
with a hormonal imbalance, such as growth hormone inadequacy, may not achieve
their full growth potential.
7. True For this reason, it is important to recognize growth
disorders before puberty in order to benefit from treatment.
8. True Research has shown that personality characteristics,
as well as some patterns like sleep, and traits such as adaptability, attention
span, and quality of mood, are rooted in our brain and nervous system.
9. True Severe emotional deprivation may imped a child's growth.
These children usually grow better when placed in a different environment.
10. True Some children with short stature may have problems
with emotional or social maturity. They may try to compensate by "acting
out" This may result in future behavioral or social problems.
11. True The average age of the onset of puberty in girls is
10 ½ years starting with the development of breast enlargement. However,
many normal girls begin puberty early, between ages 6-8. Girls with early
development of puberty, however, require evaluation by a pediatric
endocrinologist to be certain that their early maturation does not reflect
a hidden central nervous system problem, or other disorders of the adrenal
gland or ovary.
12. False Surprisingly, the first sign of puberty is not acne
as some teenagers may think nor is it growing taller or getting hairier.
The first sign of puberty, enlargement of the testes, is actually one that
most boys don't notice but can be measured in a doctor's office. This usually
happens on average at 11 ½ years of age with a normal range of 9 to
13. True Most girls get their first periods between the ages
of 12 and 13. But everyone's clock is different, and is normal to menstruate
as early as age 9. Some girls are late starters but most reach puberty by
the time they're 16.
14. True. The adolescent growth spurt in girls usually begins
around the 11th birthday and reaches a peak at age 12. Growth is usually
complete by age 14.4. For boys, adolescent growth begins two years later
at age 13, reaches its peak at age 14, and usually slows down by age 15.2
15. True. A baby is about 20 inches long at birth (give or
take an inch) and will grow another 10 inches over the first year to reach
about 30 inches by their first birthday. During the second year od life,
growth is half this fast, so at two years of age, the child will be about
35 inches tall.
Parents can learn more about the Human Growth Foundation by visiting
their web site at www.hgfound.org or calling them at