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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is failure to thrive?
Failure to thrive is when a child falls consistently behind the weight gain and growth rates expected for their age and gender.
How is failure to thrive defined?
Failure to thrive doesn't have a single definition. Failure to thrive is suspected if the child's weight, length and/or head circumference are at the extreme low end of the standard growth figures for their age, or if the child is growing very slowly or …
What causes failure to thrive?
Children can fail to thrive for many reasons. They can roughly be divided into three categories: medical reasons, behavioral reasons and environmental reasons.
How is failure to thrive diagnosed?
A doctor or healthcare professional will examine the child and measure the child's height, weight and head circumference and compare the results to standard growth charts. Then they will compile a detailed history and an account of the child's and the …
How can failure to thrive be treated?
Treatment of failure to thrive depends on its cause or causes. When the root cause is found and addressed, a special diet rich in calories and nutrients can be provided for the child to get them back on track.
Can failure to thrive be cured?
Failure to thrive may cause health and cognitive problems later in life. However, a child that has been diagnosed and treated after a short period will usually be able to live a normal life.
What can be done at home to treat failure to thrive?
The most important thing you can do as a parent or carer is to be aware of the child's nutritional status and to seek information and assistance if you're not sure that the child's growth and nutrition are adequate.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 20 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 87 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Failure to thrive