Failure to Thrive

Friday, July 01, 2011

In the first few years of life, most children gain weight and grow much more quickly than they will later on. Most will follow growth patterns that are variations of normal, but others are considered to have failure to thrive. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The words failure to thrive are used to describe a child who is growing more slowly than other children the same age.

A child with failure to thrive is usually not getting enough calories to grow. The most common cause is not eating enough food.

Sometimes a child may burn more calories than he or she eats because of a serious medical problem such as heart or lung disease. Having a lot of diarrhea or vomiting may also cause failure to thrive.

Often, failure to thrive is treated by increasing the amount of food in your childs diet. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about the right way to do it. If you feed your child formula, talk to your doctor about ways to increase the amount of calories in the formula. If your child is older, he or she may need a special food supplement. Be sure to give your child three meals a day and offer healthy snacks between meals.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.