We hear people all the time making predictions about a baby’s height keeping the height of his or her parents as the base of their guess. More than often parents also wonder how tall will their child be when they grow up. It is a natural question that crosses the mind of every parent and child. Besides being a fun to predict your child’s height, it is also an indicator for the paediatricians to find out if the child is growing as expected or not. While there exists no scientific method to predict a child’s height, there are certain ways and mathematical formulae that can help you to make an educated and reasonable guess about your child’s height.
The most accurate of all methods of height prediction is the ‘bone age’ method which uses an X-ray of the left hand of the child for determining the height. However, there are other easy and non-clinical methods that you can use at home to find out how tall your child will become eventually when he or she grows up.
Two Years Times Two Method
When the baby grows up to be a toddler, this growth spurt actually accounts for roughly half the child’s adult height. A simple method of height prediction involves doubling the height of the boy at two years of age. Girls develop faster than boys, so doubling the height of a girl child at 18 months would suffice. The result you obtain after this easy operation can be used as an estimate of how tall your child will be as an adult. This method is popular and has been used for a long time, but there exists no scientific research to determine its accuracy.
This method involves a little more of mathematical calculations. In this method, you add the height of the father and that of mother in inches and divide the sum of the heights by 2 to obtain the average of the height of parents. For a boy, add 2 ½ inches to the average whereas for a girl, subtract 2 ½ inches from the average. This method is called the mid-parental method. This method provides a very rough estimate for the child’s height and you can expect an error margin of up to 4 inches. A child is likely to be taller if the parents are tall; and similarly, shorter if the parents are short.
Maintaining Growth Charts
Regularly measuring the height, weight, and head size of the child and plotting them on a growth chart is an excellent method of determining if the child is growing as expected. These help pediatricians to track a child’s growth and suggest nutrition plan accordingly, and also helps them to know if your child’s early development is in normal range. These charts also help in determining the onset of puberty.
Genetics and Family History
Height and growth patterns usually follow the same trend in a family. The pediatrician while determining the growth of your child might be interested in finding out your height and the height of other family members. They may ask you about your growth pattern and whether you attained puberty early or late, as all these things provide important clues.
Other Factors affecting Height of the child
1. Nutrition – Overweight children are usually taller than their peers but that does not mean they will remain taller as adults. Underweight children might be shorter for their age.
2. Medications – Some medications can slow growth, therefore hampering the height of the child.
3. Hormones – Imbalance in hormones, like low growth hormone or thyroid levels, lead to a slower rate of growth than otherwise expected.
4. Genetic Conditions – Children with genetic conditions like Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, or Noonan Syndrome, tend to be shorter than other members of the family, whereas Marfan Syndrome causes them to be taller.