Your child's maximum height is determined by genetics. Kids generally end up between the average of their parents' heights and the height of the parent of the same sex. He may also follow your growth pattern, so if you had your growth spurt later in your teen years, he may also shoot up around the same time. There are steps you can take to ensure that your child reaches his maximum height.
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Growing Like a Weed
According to the MAGIC Foundation for Children's Growth, normal growth from age 4 to puberty is at least 2 inches per year. Girls usually have a growth spurt of 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches a year starting around the age of 10, or the start of puberty. Boys experience their growth spurt around the age of 12 and grow 3 to 5 inches a year.
The Right Foods
Proper nutrition plays a large part in helping kids grow to their full potential. Make sure they get the proper minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbs and fats they need to power their little bodies. Also ensure that your child drinks enough water every day. Calcium is extremely important for growing bodies, helping the bones grow longer and stronger. According to the National Institutes of Health, kids ages 1 to 3 need 700 mg of calcium every day, ages 4 to 8 need 1,000 mg and ages 9 to 18 need 1,300 mg.
Your child needs the proper amount of shuteye so her body has time to recharge, repair and produce growth hormones. Toddlers usually sleep 10 to 13 hours each night. School-age kids and preteens need between 10 and 12 hours each night. Your teen needs 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours of sleep. No matter how old your child is, try to encourage her to get to bed at the same time every night and to wake up at the same time every day -- even on weekends.
Getting the right amount of exercise keeps your child growing and can help fight obesity. According to the U.S. Department of Education, your child needs at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. Encourage your child to walk to school or the store. If you can, enroll your child in her favorite sport so she can be active in the evenings or on the weekend. Have her participate in active chores around the house -- things like raking leaves and moving the lawn, vacuuming, or dog walking.
Check with your pediatrician if your child's growth seems to have stalled, since there may be an underlying medical problem. If your child is below the 5 percent range or over the 95 percent range for his age, your doctor may want to do further tests. Some chronic conditions or genetic disorders may impair growth. Speak to your child's doctor about possible side effects from medications as well.
- U.S. Department of Education: Help Your Child Grow Up Healthy and Strong
- Growing Taller Guide: Nutrition
- Growing Taller Guide: How Disease in Childhood Can Result in Stunted Growth
- Kids Health: All About Sleep
- Magic Foundation: What Causes Children to Grow Poorly?
- Magic Foundation: What Causes Children to Grow Poorly? - page 2
- Magic Foundation: What Causes Children to Grow Poorly? - page 3
- NIH: How Much Calcium Do Children & Teens Need?