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"How tall will my son get?"


My son is 16 and very short. Is there any way to figure out how tall he'll end up being?


Growth has long been recognized as a measure of the health of individuals, hence part of the reasoning for the use of growth charts to monitor a child growing up. As such, nutrition plus health, genetic potential, and hormonal balance is a basic formula regulating growth. When a child is not growing at a normal rate, one or more of these 3 factors are responsible.

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There is no proven way to predict a child's adult height. However, several methods can provide a reasonable estimation for growth. A popular formula is to (1) add the parents' heights in either inches or centimeters; (2) add 5 inches for boys; (3) divide by two. Most will reach an adult height within 2 inches of this estimation. A major growth spurt occurs at the time of puberty, usually between 11 and 15 years in boys. If you are concerned about your son's growth, I advise a consultation with an endocrinologist. There are growth hormone supplements that can be given to him if it is determined that he is not growing properly or has a health condition stunting his growth. However, these hormones can carry serious health risks so be sure to discuss with the doctor.

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