It is critical for all physicians to be able to recognize failure to thrive in infants and children and to be able to initiate a workup for the problem.
Be sure and see Resource (2) for formal growth charts from the Centers For Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
Failure to Thrive?
- An infant with failure to thrive will first demonstrate poor weight gain.
- With continued insult, there will be reduced height/length growth and then, finally, reduced head circumference growth.
- After birth, infants will normally loose weight initially (particularly breastfed infants).
- Infants should regain their birth weight by 2 weeks of life.
- For the first 3 months, infants should gain ~30 grams a day (~1 oz / day).
- By 6 months, they should have doubled their weight.
- By 12 months, they should have tripled their weight.
- By 24 months, they should have quadrupled their weight.
Other useful numbers:
- At 1 year of age, your average child will be ~10kg.
- At 3 years of age, your average child will be ~ 15kg.
- At 6 years of age, your average child will be ~ 20kg.
(2) Growth Chart Recommendations From The Centers For Disease Control