Some children experience slow growth due to factors such as diet, emotional stress, or disease. For a small number of children and adults, their short stature is caused by a medical condition that either slows or stops growth. Norditropin® is used to treat some of these conditions.
Types of Growth Disorders
What does small for gestational age mean?
At birth, a baby’s weight and length are recorded. Babies with a birth weight and/or length below the 2.3rd percentile are classified as born small for gestational age (SGA).
What is gestational age?
Gestational age is the age of a baby starting from the time he or she was conceived. Most infants are born at 37 to 41 weeks of gestation. The comparison of a newborn’s measurements to expected characteristics is called a gestational age assessment.
Why is a child born SGA?
About 95,000 children born in the United States each year are shorter and lighter than normal. The cause is not always clear, but an infant may be born SGA because of a genetic defect, problems with the placenta, or health issues with the mother—such as heart disease, malnutrition, or drug, alcohol, or cigarette use.
Do babies born SGA “catch up”?
Babies born SGA should be carefully monitored for growth. Most will reach normal size and height by the time they’re 2 years old. Premature babies (born before 37 weeks of gestation) may take up to age 4 to catch up. If your child was born SGA, be sure to consult with your doctor about his or her growth.
If no catch-up growth happens by age 2 to 3, your child may need a referral to a pediatric endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in hormone diseases in children. The endocrinologist will find out if there is any other reason, such as a nutritional problem or inherited disease, that is keeping your child from catching up in growth.
How is SGA diagnosed?
The doctor may take an X-ray of your child’s hand and wrist. The X-ray will show his or her bone age, which can help predict your child’s final adult height, and can show if your child still has room for growth.
For many parents, facing the possibility of a growth hormone disorder leads to some worries, as well as many questions. By asking your child’s doctor targeted questions, you can learn your options and decide on next steps together.
After the diagnosis.
After diagnosing your child with SGA, the doctor may recommend certain treatments, which may help your child with catch-up growth. If treatment is recommended, your doctor will likely ask for regular follow-up visits to monitor your child’s growth and make sure that treatment is working well.
Parents and caregivers of children with growth disorders can find support, community, and education through growth-related patient organizations, such as the MAGIC Foundation.
Learn more about what life is like for families whose children are being treated with Norditropin®.