What influences the child's final height?
As we mentioned at the beginning, the child's height is the sum of genetic conditions (80 percent) and environmental factors (20 percent). However, while we do not have much influence on the former, most of the external factors affecting the toddler during his development can be modified to some extent. Thus, parents can take care of their child's growth by:
- Adapted to the age and needs of the child's dietsę - diet is one of the most important factors determining a child's growth, after genes. Any deficits in this area, sooner or later, will affect the health and development of the child. This applies especially to quality deficits (deficiency of certain vitamins, minerals and proteins - poorly balanced diet), and only then quantitative deficiencies.
- The right amount of sleep - sufficiently long and deep sleep is necessary for the proper release of growth hormone (GH), which is a hormone that directly affects the child's growth processes (this demand decreases with age and for teenagers is similar to that recorded in adults - on average 7-8 hours a day).
- Adequate level of physical activity - daily dose of physical activity is an important factor influencing the proper course of growth processes in a child. Her deficiencies can affect both the final height of the child and his health.
- Avoiding strong stress - chronic, severe stress has been known for many years to affect growth disorders (stress can inhibit the secretion of growth hormone). This phenomenon is referred to as psychogenic low growth and is also associated with an increased risk of developing depression.
How to predict the final height in a child?
There are many methods that allow an approximate determination of the final height of a child, and the easiest way to do this is to use the average height of parents (MPH) indicator. It is calculated based on the following formula:
For girls - MPH = (sum of parents' body height cm - 13) / 2
For boys - MPH = (sum of parents' body height cm + 13) / 2
Undoubtedly, the average parental height indicator is a useful and easily available method of predicting the final child's height. However, it should be remembered that it provides some simplification and approximation (the margin of error is 8.5 cm on each side) and in specific cases requires confirmation by other methods. Most often used for this purpose final growth rate (PAH), which is calculated based on the toddler's bone age and special Bayley and Pineau tables (this method is reserved for specialist centers).
Growth jumps - a chance to catch up with peers
Children grow at a different pace. Therefore, that our child is the lowest in its class at school does not mean that there is final height, it will also be small. It should be remembered that there is a so-called phenomenon jumps (they take place around 11-13 years old for girls and 13-15 years old for boys and are associated with an increase of 9 to 18 cm per year), which are characterized by intense growth, and thus are a chance to catch up with their peers. All growth processes are finally completed only at the age of 21 in women and 25 years in men, and the height achieved at this age is considered final.
To sum up, the child's future final height often spins from the eyes of parents, especially those who are short. Fortunately, there are methods of forecasting it that can roughly give a chance to answer the bothering toddler guardians questions about whether their child will be tall.