Kids Growth and Development

Learn to understand and deal with your child's changing body and mind, with some useful information on your kids growth and development.

Growth: the natural increase in body size as well as sizes of different organs. This is achieved by cell multiplication and by increase in the intracellular substances

Development: maturation of organs and systems, gaining of skills and ability of adaptation & assuming responsibilities

Stages of Growth & Development:

a. Embryonic stage
1st 12 weeks of pregnancy during which the fertilized ovum differentiates into an organism

b. Fetal stage
12-40 weeks of pregnancy characterized by rapid growth & development

c. Perinatal stage
Start of labor to end of 1st 24 hours after birth

d. Postnatal stage

1. Neonatal period:
1st month of life
most critical period
main problems are prematurity, birth injuries, cong anomalies & infection

2. Infancy:
1-12 months
main problems are infection & nutritional dis.

3. Preschool child (toddler)
1-4 years
accidents, nutrition & infection problems

4. School child
5-12 yr
accidents, infection, rheumatic fever, malignancies (leukemia & lymphoma), psychological & emotional problems.

5. Adolescence
12-20 yr
period of passage from childhood to adulthood
psychological, rheumatic fever, malignancies, DM., accidents, sex-hormone-related problems.

Factors Affecting Growth & Development:

1. genetic factors e.g. achondroplasia
2. endocrinal: growth, thyroid, sex hormones are essential for normal growth. e.g. cong. hypothyroidism
3. environmental e.g health of mom during preg. & socioeconomic status of family
4. nutritional
5. cong. anomalies e.g. cong. heart ds.
6. chronic Dis. e.g. TB
7. activity: bedridden child will not grow normally


Growth is assessed by:
a. anthropometric measures: wt, ht, head circumference
b. teething
c. osseous maturation

-Most prematures will catch up & grow @ same rate.
-Newborn (N.B.) ht for non-recombinant while length for recombinant

Growth spurt:
- sudden increase in height b4 puberty
- earlier in girls (11-13 yr) than boys ( 6 mth- 1 yr later).
- girls (16-17 yr)stop 2 grow earlier than boys (up to 21 yr)

Short Stature:

Take ht of this child & plot it on the growth chart.
N.B. in assessing chart it is more important to see that there is a linear increase along the same percentile rather than the actual numbers.

if there is growth increment on a percentile, then he is normal even if he is short compared 2 his siblings also, take good Hx looking for chronic Ds. e.g. B.asthma, SCD etc. & chromosomal abnormalities e.g. Down’s see if parents are short.

- KSA, overweight > under weight
- causes of decreased weight:

  • congenital heart disease.
  • malabsorption.
  • chronic Liver disease.
  • CNS disease.
  • renal disease.

    • - causes of overweight:

    • mostly d/t over eating
    • few d/t Cushing’s syndrome
      • ** educate about diet, exercise but usually fail in Rx

        There is an initial period of weight loss in the first 3-4 days d/t redistribution of body fluids with loss of extra-fluid in the ECF. It is estimated as 10% in full term & 15 % in preterm

        - motor & mental development
        - composed of:

      • fine motor
      • gross motor
      • language
      • personal-social

      • - if there is a delay in milestones, we have 2 know the cause
        as early as possible 2 Rx it & prevent its consequences.
        e.g. in hypothyroidism, each 1 month delay in Dx is almost equal to 1 yr delay in development (mental & motor).

        Also, if a child has minimal motor development, if u give physiotherapy he will be able 2 walk

        milestones are assessed by DENVER scale

        For the following tables click to enlarge.

        Head Circumference:


        Development Milestones:

        Reference: Nelson Pediatric Textbook 18th Ed.

        Comments :

        Anonymous said...
        This post has been removed by a blog administrator.