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Height Anxiety

Q: My son is the shortest kid in his class. But my husband and I are both tall. Could my 9-year-old have a growth problem?

A: "It's possible but not likely," says Alan M. Schindler, M.D., the author of Too Tall? Too Short? Too Fat? Too Thin? "It's true that most tall parents have tall children. But it may be that your child is simply a slow grower who will catch up when he's a little older and end up with a height that's similar to yours."

Questions you should ask yourself:

  • Was I, my spouse, or anyone else in our families a slow grower?
  • Is my child's current height consistent with his growth pattern since birth? (Ask your pediatrician.)

A yes to both of these questions generally indicates that a short child is where he should be heightwise, says Dr. Schindler. If the answers are no, there may be a genetic or hormonal problem. "Your pediatrician can recommend any necessary testing or treatment," Dr. Schindler notes.

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All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.