Valley Children’s Recognizes Children’s Growth Awareness Week

Young girl standing next to giraffe growth chart

(Madera, Calif.) – When it comes to determining if a child is growing properly, growth charts are one of the most powerful tools in a pediatrician’s toolbox. Maintaining a normal growth pattern is a good indicator of a child's overall health, and failure to grow at least two inches per year after age 3 can be nature’s early warning sign that a child could have a medical issue. This week, Valley Children’s is joining pediatric health advocates nationwide in recognition of Growth Awareness Week to bring awareness to the importance of monitoring a child’s growth.

In 2014, the United States Senate designated the third week in September as Growth Awareness Week. This awareness week aims to educate parents and families about the importance of children’s growth.

Out of every 10,000 children, 230 are short. Of those, approximately 80% are simply short due to genetics or are late bloomers. But an estimated 46 out of every 10,000 kids have a health issue contributing to short stature.

Valley Children’s pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Moinuddin Mokhashi explains, “Height and weight are just the tip of the iceberg. They’re the signs that something might be wrong with a child, and that the child might need to be evaluated to determine if there are any coexisting health conditions.”

More than 600 serious diseases and health conditions can cause growth failure. This is why Valley Children’s pediatric specialists emphasize the importance of bringing children in for their well child visits, monitoring their growth and speaking to the child’s pediatrician if parents suspect a problem.

Mary Andrews, Co-Founder of The MAGIC Foundation, which spearheaded the effort to establish Growth Awareness Week, explained that there are hundreds of medical conditions which can impact a child's growth. "If, as parents, we understand how important annual measurements are, and what they can reveal about our child's health, we know to obtain medical care early, instead of waiting to see if  they ‘outgrow’ a problem. Because abnormal growth is a major indicator of a child's overall health, the goal is to educate parents and give doctors more time to intervene if needed to help the child before permanent damage occurs."

Learn more about Growth Awareness Week and how you can help spread awareness at

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