Worried About Your Child’s Growth? A Pediatrician Can Help

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As parents and caregivers, we all want to see our children thrive. It is normal to have questions about your son’s or daughter’s physical, social, and emotional development throughout their childhood. However, if you begin to have concerns about their growth rate or notice a difference in their development compared to other children their own age, it may be time to seek the help of a professional. Furthermore, consistent and ongoing pediatric care can help ensure your child is growing and developing normally, and identify any potential issues as soon as they arise.

At Health Services of North Texas (HSNT), our pediatricians and board-certified nurse practitioners are proud to provide close, personalized, advanced pediatric care in Denton, Plano, and Wylie, TX to take your child from infancy through young adulthood. Use this helpful information to understand why child growth is so important and what signs and symptoms may point to a problem.

Why is child development important?

Both physical and psychological development play a critical role in shaping the person your child will ultimately become. Normal growth and development can contribute to healthy social relationships, success at school and work, and an overall good quality of life. Not only does your child’s development impact his or her future, but a delay or abnormality in their growth can also point to an underlying health issue.

How can I tell if my child is growing normally?

Some growth and development problems may be fairly obvious, such as a failure to gain weight during infancy; others may present with more subtle symptoms or gradual onset. It can be somewhat helpful to compare your child’s height, weight, and developmental milestones to other children his or her age. Without a doubt, however, ongoing pediatric care with regular pediatric well visits is the best way to monitor your child’s growth rate and determine if they are hitting certain physical and emotional milestones at the appropriate times.

When to see a doctor for concerns about a child’s growth

It is not uncommon for children to have episodes of weight gain, weight loss, slow growth, or growth spurts throughout their childhood. However, in some cases, sudden and/or prolonged changes in their development can indicate an underlying problem. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms of delayed growth or development, call your pediatrician:

  • Markedly slow growth
  • Sudden, prolonged, or significant weight change
  • Immature facial features compared to other children the same age
  • Loss of appetite
  • Delay in puberty
  • Disproportionate body/features
  • Social/behavioral problems

During your pediatric visit in Denton, Wylie, or Plano, one of our pediatric care experts will discuss your concerns, evaluate your child’s symptoms, take a thorough health history, and perform any necessary studies to help determine what may be causing a potential growth delay. These may include calculating your child’s BMI, performing lab work, and ordering imaging studies.

What causes slow growth in kids?

A period of slow growth or changes in weight can occur as a normal part of childhood. In some cases, though, these symptoms can point to a more serious underlying condition. Some of the most common causes of delayed or restricted growth and development include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Reflux (usually in infants)
  • Neurological deficit, which makes swallowing difficult
  • GI conditions, including celiac disease
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Thyroid condition
  • Kidney condition
  • Heart condition
  • Psychological disorder
  • Genetic condition
  • Infection

Have peace of mind when it comes to your child’s health by establishing pediatric care in Collin County or Denton County

One of the most beneficial things you can do for your child’s health is to establish routine pediatric care from infancy. Not only can a pediatrician monitor your child’s growth and development, but pediatric care at HSNT in Denton and Collin Counties also provides essential services throughout childhood, including:

If you have concerns about your child’s growth or development, or if you would like to establish long-term pediatric care, we invite you to call the exceptional team at Health Services of North Texas to schedule a visit with one of our pediatricians or advanced nurse practitioners at the location most convenient to you in Wylie, Denton, or Plano, TX. We are proud to accept most forms of insurance, including Medicaid, and offer a sliding fee scale for further assistance. We look forward to providing all of the necessary tools to help your children grow, develop, and thrive!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.