- Is at or below the 3rd to 5th percentile for height and weight. T
- Has failed to grow as expected. This is shown by dropping two growth percentiles. For example, the child goes from the 75th percentile to below the 25th percentile.
- Organic failure-to-thrive—caused by some other medical condition
- Nonorganic failure-to-thrive—occurs in children with no known medical condition
- Mixed failure-to-thrive—occurs when the child has features of both organic and nonorganic failure-to-thrive
Gastrointestinal disease may make it difficult for your child to eat or absorb food. This may include:
- Reflux —stomach acid backs up into the throat. This can make it uncomfortable to swallow.
- Pyloric stenosis —valve on the stomach can not close properly, this can lead to reflux.
- Cleft lip and/or palate —birth defects of the lip and roof of the mouth, this condition can make it difficult to eat solid foods.
- Hirschsprung's disease —a condition that can cause a blockage in the intestines
- Hepatitis —liver disease that can cause general fatigue and ill feeling
- Cirrhosis —liver disease that can cause general fatigue and ill feeling
- Pancreatic insufficiency—pancrease helps digestion of fats, if there is a problem, food may not be properly absorbed into the body
- Malabsorption—general problem in the intestines ability to absorb food
- Milk protein intolerance—inability for the baby to digest proteins found in milk, even if the baby is taking in enough milk it is not getting to the body
Kidney disease—can decrease your child's appetite and impair growth
- Urinary tract infection
- Kidney failure
- Diabetes insipidus
Heart and lung disease—can decrease your child's appetite and impair growth
Mucus Blockage in Lungs and Pancreas Due to Cystic Fibrosis-Contributes to Failure to Thrive Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Endocrine disease—can decrease your child's appetite or how the body processes food
- Thyroid problems
- Pituitary disease
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Infectious disease—can decrease your child's appetite and impair growth
- Breastfeeding difficulties including insufficient milk supply syndrome
- Chromosomal birth defects
- Fetal alcohol syndrome
- Lead poisoning
- Child abuse or negligence
- Parental ignorance
- Untreated medical conditions
- Poverty, including lack of available food
- Poor parenting skills
- Depression in the parent
- Severe family stress
- Slowed growth in a young child, including height and weight
- Slowed development, including late rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking, and talking
- Small muscles
- Weakness, low energy
- Hair loss
- Loose folds of skin
- Other symptoms related to an underlying medical condition
- Monitor the relationship between parent and child, paying particular attention to their behavior around feeding
- Set up a feeding schedule with an adequate amount of calories
- Make sure that an appropriate feeding technique is used
Treating a Medical Condition
Providing Extra Calories
- Take your children to the doctor regularly to have their growth checked. This helps detect and treat failure-to-thrive before it becomes severe.
- Develop a good relationship with your child's doctor.
- Ask the doctor about proper parenting and nutrition for early in a baby's life.
- Your doctor may recommend parent-training sessions.
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org/
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org/
About Kids Health http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Alberta Health and Wellness http://www.health.gov.ab.ca/
Failure to thrive. Children's Hospital Colorado website. Available at http://www.childrenscolorado.org/wellness/info/parents/22982.aspx . Accessed August 13, 2012.
Failure to thrive: parental neglect or well-meaning ignorance. Am Fam Physician . 2001;63(9). Available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010501/curbside.html.
Krugman S, Dubowitz H. Failure to thrive. Am Fam Physician . 2003 Sep 1;68(5):879-884. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0901/p879.html . Accessed August 7, 2012.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/91/2012 -