Growth and Development: How Tall Will My Child Get?

The growth and devlopment of your children

How tall will my child get and what can I do to change it?

Before a child is born, a lot goes through the mind of a parent. Some of the things parents wonder about concern their new child’s abilities,  growth and development;  including how tall the child will grow once born. Other important things that parents think about include hair and eye color. Although it is not possible to predict how tall your child will get, there a few clues you can use to figure out your child’s adult height.

Factors that affect your child’s height

Several factors influence your child overall height. These include gender, genetic factors, your child’s health status, and nutrition.


Generally, males grow taller than females.

Genetic consideration

Usually, a person will inherit a height that runs in the family. Some people grow at the same rate as that of other members of the family and they attain the family’s typical height. But, this should not be misunderstood to mean that families with short parents cannot have tall children.

Health status

If your child has underlying health issues, growth will be affected. A typical example is that of Marfan syndrome. This genetic condition causes your child to grow abnormally tall. Other condition that might lead your child to grow extremely short include cancer, celiac, and arthritis. In addition, a child who has a prescription for medication like corticosteroids may end up not gaining height at all.


Typically, overweight kids tend to be tall while those who are underweight appear short. However, this is not always the case and is not a predictor of your child adult height.

Methods used to predict your child’s adult height

Formulas have been developed to help health practitioners predict how tall your child will grow. Although none of the methods has been proven accurate at predicting your child’s final height, they provide a rough estimate.

Height at your age method

If your child is male, simply double his age at the age of 2 years. For a female child, double her height once she attains 18 months of age. For instance, if your girl has a height of 31 inches at the age of 18 months, her adult height will be 62 inches, which translates to 5 feet and 2 inches.

Father and mother’s average height

Find your height and that of your spouse in units of inches then sum them up. Add about 5 inches to the height of your male child or less 5 inches to get the final for a female child. Divide whatever number you have left by 2.

A boy in this example will have an adult height of about 5 feet and 10 inches. The actual height is usually less or more by 4 inches.

Bone age X-rays

Doctors usually X-ray the wrist and hand of a child. The image will show your child’s growth plates. As your child continues to grow, the plates continue to grow thin. Once your child stops growing, the plates usually disappear. Doctors use bone age studies to find out how tall your child will get in adulthood.

When should you be concerned about your child’s development?

If you are concerned about the growth and development of your child, consult with your doctor for appropriate treatment. Sometimes poor growth is due to insufficient growth factors like growth hormones. The doctor can easily remedy this with growth hormone therapy.

If your child’s growth seems to slow down, or is below average, he will refer your child to a growth specialist. This is a doctor whose area of expertise is growth hormones, including those that help kids grow.

If the growth specialist feels that a genetic issue affects your child’s growth, a genetic specialist will be the next person you will have to consult. Factors that might affect your child’s growth and development include kidney problems, asthma treatments, absorption problems; grow hormone deficiency, thyroid issues or lung, and heart disorders.

The endocrinologist will do blood work and a number of other important tests to find out the exact reason why your child is not growing normally.

Bottom Line

Regardless of determining height, keeping your children active is important. If you are worried about your child’s growth and development, seek your doctor’s opinion before he or she reached puberty. Beyond puberty, your child does not experience any more growth. In addition, there is a treatment for your child in case growth is not normal.

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