The newsLINK Group - Height Predictions

Editorial Library Category: Medical | Pediatrics for Patients Topics: Height Predictions Title: Height Predictions Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Nobody knows how tall your children will be when they are done growing, not even their pediatrician. But it’s natural to wonder about it, and there are some indicators that can give you a general idea of what to expect later. Editorial: Height Predictions 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Nobody knows how tall your children will be when they are done growing, not even their pediatrician. But it’s natural to wonder about it, and there are some indicators that can give you a general idea of what to expect later. Figuring out what is likely is not just for fun; it can also be helpful. Suppose you have a child who is lagging behind developmentally from what the pediatrician expects. (Pediatricians will fill out a standardized growth chart for your child during well visits.) It’s possible there might be a nutritional deficit or an undiagnosed illness. Having a height prediction in hand can provide a reason to explore whether your child has a problem that would benefit from medical intervention. Doctors have determined that normal growth is generally an accurate reflection of nutrition and overall health. During the first month of a child’s life, growth is primarily determined by the mother’s nutrition and the environment within the womb. As a result, if you were to look at a baby’s length and compare it with adult height, the correlation coefficient between the two is only 0.25. By the time a child is two years old, however, that correlation has increased to 0.8. Genetics can account for about 75 percent of a child’s height. Height and growth patterns are both genetic, so you may well be asked about height and growth patterns of people within your family. Other important factors that affect height are nutrition, exercise, and medical conditions: Your child needs nutrients and vitamins to grow as tall as possible. Too much intense exercise at too young an age can change or slow a child’s growth pattern. One possible medical condition that can affect a child’s growth is a growth-hormone deficiency. Healthy babies and children grow in a predictable way. They progress in weight, length, and head circumference. Sometimes they have a growth spurt and grow fast; sometimes they don’t seem to grow at all. Children are also more likely to grow during the spring and summer. Doctors have divided the growth process into four periods: infancy, preschool, middle childhood, and adolescence. Growth during a child’s first six months is rapid. Between six months and adolescence, however, growth is generally just a steady progression. Many children will then have a growth spurt around the beginning of puberty. The most accurate way to predict a child’s adult height is to take an x-ray of the hand and wrist. This allows a doctor to determine the child’s bone (or skeletal) age. The doctor can compare the results of the x-ray to historical data in order to predict the child’s eventual adult height. Instead of a hand and wrist x-ray, you can also use one of the following methods: Add the height (in inches) of the mother and father. Divide by two. Add 2.5 inches for a boy, and subtract 2.5 inches for a girl. The margin of error for this method is plus or minus four inches. Some people use three inches instead of 2.5 inches, but the margin of error increases to plus or minus five inches. If you have a boy, double the boy’s height at age two. If you have a girl, double her height when she is 18 months old. This method has been around for many years, but nobody has researched its accuracy. Use the Khamis-Roche Method, which was originally based on the method of doubling a child’s height at the age of two. This is a formula that was developed from data about Caucasian children. The variables are the current weight, height, and age of the child along the adult height of the parents. The margin of error is about two inches for boys. It is slightly less than two inches for girls. This method is less accurate for tall children or children who are not Caucasian. You can find online calculators, but the linear method is fairly simple. Take a boy’s height at two years and multiply it by 1.37, then add 22.7. For a two-year-old girl, multiply the height by 1.17 and add 25.0. Growth charts can be used for more than determining whether your child is within a normal range. They can also