Factors Affecting Children’s Height

There are a lot of factors that play a role in what a child’s overall height will be. While gender and genetics will be the two major influences on what height a child will grow to, there are also several other factors that may play a role. Some people use different guides to determine what they feel the child’s height will be such as have all the mother and father are. In addition, there are height calculators that may be able to offer some insight on the ballpark height of what the child will be but none of these have been deemed 100% accurate in predicting how tall the child will grow by the time he or she reaches adulthood. If a parent has real concerns about the height of the child than the best course of action is to talk this over with the child’s pediatrician. Following is some helpful information on some of the factors which may affect your child’s growth rate and height.


Obviously gender will play a major role in the overall height nor child will grow to be. In most cases women will grow to heights which are shorter than men. However, this is not always the case and there are some instances where female children will outgrow their male siblings in terms of height. A general rule of someone trying to determine the height a child will be is to look at both mother and father and what their heights are. Usually a child will grow to a height that is somewhere between the height of mom and dad. A female child could easily surpass her mother’s height, provided her father is significantly taller. In the same way a male child could easily grow to be quite a bit shorter than his father if genetic factors play a role. It is also important to look at grandparents on both the paternal and maternal side when trying to determine how tall your child will grow. If the child is female then both mother and grandmother’s heights may play a role in the height she will be.

Nutritional Considerations

When considering nutrition is important first to point out that even a diet consisting in the most adequate nutritional value will not alter the child’s genetic makeup in terms of allowing him or her to grow taller than what has been genetically predetermined. However, a diet that is nutritionally inadequate can easily hinder a child from reaching his or her full height potential. A child should be given a well-balanced diet consisting of foods which are lower in saturated fats, sugar content and sodium, as well as rich in all of the essential vitamins and minerals. Calcium and iron are also very important to the proper growth of a child and the necessary development of healthy bones and joints. There are many children today who are suffering from a condition which is known as sub nutrition. This condition is different than that of malnutrition as it simply means that the child is eating enough food but not the right kind of foods. A diet consisting of junk food could easily cause a child to suffer from sub nutrition.

Genetic Makeup

When a baby is conceived, he or she receives DNA from both his/her father and mother. It is true that a child may wind up taking on specific traits from his or her mom or dad but for the most part the child is made up of an equal mixture of genes from both parents. Sometimes a child’s outward appearance in terms of height and bone structure will come from one parent while personality traits and other factors such as that from the other. In addition, sometimes a child’s genes will meld together in such a way that it is nearly impossible to tell which parent each trait came from. This is especially true if both parents share similar traits in terms of appearance, height and structural makeup. Genetic makeup is a very complex matter as specific traits can show up generations later. There have even been some cases in which a woman has given birth to a baby who appeared to be from an entirely different ethnic background but through DNA testing was in fact determined to be the biological child of both parents. It is believed that this is the result of genetics carrying over from some time in the familial history.

Physical Exercise

A good amount of physical activity is vital to a child’s growth and development. If a child does not get an adequate amount of physical exercise then a lot of undesirable consequences could occur. One of the things that could happen is that the child could become a victim of childhood obesity. In addition, a lack of physical exercise could also affect a child’s height as his/her bones and muscles would not be strong enough to support the full potential. There are many children today who do not receive an adequate amount of physical exercise. In fact, this has become a problem of epic proportions in many countries but most especially in the US. This seems to be because of the trend of electronic entertainment such as video games and computers.

Medical Conditions that Effect Height

There are a number of illnesses that could affect a child’s height, such as Turner Syndrome, Gigantism and Dwarfism. Most of these are genetic disorders that a child is predisposed to through his/her parents DNA. Infants who suffer from a failure to thrive, either as a result of being premature or from other considerations could also have their height affected in the long run. If a parent feels that his or her child is not growing properly then these concerns should always be taken to the family doctor or pediatrician.

The reality is that it is impossible for anyone to say how tall or short a child will be until the child has reached adulthood and has finished all of his/her growing. At best we can hope to take an educated guess based on some of the above mentioned factors. The best thing to do for your child is to be sure that he or she is given everything needed in order to thrive properly and grow into a healthy adult.

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