Alexis McAllister, MSN, RN, CPNP, from pediatric endocrinology, discusses short stature.
What is short stature?
Some families will be concerned about their child being shorter than their peers. When looking at a growth chart, if their height is under the growth chart and actually not on the chart then that would be concerning. We could do a workup to make sure that there’s nothing causing that. We can check growth hormone levels to see that they’re producing enough growth hormone. There is the opportunity to produce more growth hormone by giving growth hormone injections. A lot of times that will help to get kids growing and be closer to their peers as far as height.
When should a parent become concerned their child is short of stature?
If we’re going to start growth hormone, we like to do it before they start puberty because once they hit puberty then they really are starting to slow, and their growth plates will start to close eventually. We have a limited time to be able to give the growth hormone injections to help them with their height. If there is a concern of short stature, I would say before 12 to 13 we should definitely be seeing them in the office so we can assess that and see if they would be beneficial to start growth hormone injections.