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Get rid of height anxiety and seize the good time to grow taller in summer

Get rid of height anxiety and seize the good time to grow taller in summer

Data source: National Sleep Foundation Mapping: Wang Meihua

Just like seedlings emerging from the ground, or young eagles fluttering their wings, children are the hope of the motherland and the future of the nation. Compared with the past, today’s children grow up in a better environment and conditions, but at the same time they are also facing new health problems. For example, the phenomenon of “little glasses” and “little chubby” is worrying, and the problems of “little bean sprouts” and “little anxiety” need to be solved urgently.

How to help children develop a good lifestyle and grow up healthier? From now on, this edition will open the column “Care for the Growth of Seedlings”, focusing on the “little troubles” in the growth of children and teenagers, sorting out ideas, making suggestions, and striving to help solve the problems in children’s growth, so stay tuned.

“Doctor, my child has always been shorter than the children of the same age in kindergarten, how can I make him grow taller?” “Is my child ‘short syndrome’? Can I take growth hormone?” “Doctor, I want to grow to 1.75 meters , what should I do?”… With the advent of the summer vacation, the growth and development clinics and pediatric short clinics of major hospitals have welcomed many parents and children who are troubled by height problems.

At the Pediatric Short Clinic of Beijing Chaoyang Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, Yang Xue, deputy chief physician, found that parents are generally more concerned about their children’s height, and children generally have higher expectations for their own height. I don’t know when, ” “Height anxiety” spread quietly among some parents and children.

Focus on “genetic target height” and fully tap growth potential

“How tall is the child’s father? Where is the mother? How does the child eat?” Not long ago, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital held a children’s height free clinic that attracted many parents and children. The reporter found that the children who visited the clinic had a large age span, basically covering all stages from infants to adolescents.

“Parents want their children to grow taller for certain practical reasons.” Yang Xue said, in terms of appearance, the public generally believes that being tall is an advantage, and a child’s height will largely affect his future life, making friends, etc. aspects. At the same time, some occupations, such as athletes, have special requirements for height. “Some children may have been training in a certain sport for several years, and they are worried that their lack of height will become an obstacle to their future career development, so they also come to consult to see if they can grow taller. “

What factors affect a child’s height?

“Height is most affected by genetic factors, accounting for about 70%, and 30% is environmental factors, including internal environmental factors and external environmental factors. The internal environment includes related hormone levels and the health status of the body (whether there is disease), and the external environment Including nutrition, exercise, sleep, social factors, etc.” Ren Jinxia, ​​deputy chief physician of the Pediatrics Department of the hospital, introduced that in clinical practice, the genetic potential of a child’s height can be roughly estimated based on the height of the parents, which is called “genetic target height”. The method is suitable for children who are growing and developing normally, not for children with pathological conditions.”

Genetic target height calculation formula:

Boy = (father’s height + mother’s height + 13 cm) / 2 (± 5 cm)

Girl = (father’s height + mother’s height – 13 cm) / 2 (± 5 cm)

“Excluding the pathological situation, if both parents are not tall, but hope that the child will far exceed the genetic target height of the parents, the probability of finally realizing the parents’ expectation is relatively small. But if scientific medical measures are used to intervene, the child’s height will be fully explored. With the 30% acquired potential, it is still possible for the child to grow taller and slightly exceed the genetic target height of the parents.” Yang Xue reminded that acquired factors such as nutrition, sleep, and exercise also play a vital role in height. Parents We should pay attention to these acquired factors and help children grow taller through scientific methods.

Yang Xue introduced that in terms of diet, parents should grasp the principle of dietary balance, pay attention to the variety of food, provide children with rich and varied nutrients, and avoid both malnutrition and overnutrition. In terms of sleep, let the child go to bed as soon as possible and ensure adequate sleep, because the secretion of growth hormone is closely related to sleep, and the growth hormone produced by itself will decrease when there is insufficient sleep, which will affect the child’s growth. At the same time, we must ensure regular exercise, especially outdoor exercise, which can promote the secretion of growth hormone in children. Younger children can go outdoors under the guidance of their parents. Usually running, jumping and other activities can help them promote the secretion of growth hormone. Older children need to engage in moderate and high-intensity sports, such as playing basketball and skipping rope. Good choice. In addition, a good psychological condition also has a certain impact on height growth. Parents should help their children arrange life and study reasonably, combine work and rest, and relieve stress.

Seize the “golden period” of growing taller, pay attention to each stage

As the saying goes, “spring grows and summer grows”, is spring and summer the “golden period” for children to grow up?

“That’s a good statement. Children will grow up all year round, but generally spring and summer will grow longer.” Yang Xue said that during spring and summer, there are more sunny weather and plenty of sunshine. Children receive more sunshine time, which can help the body transform Generate vitamin D, thereby promoting the absorption of calcium, which is beneficial for children to grow taller. At the same time, children’s outdoor activities increase, and stretching exercises such as running and jumping can positively stimulate children’s bones and help bones grow faster; in summer, as the temperature gradually increases, the human body’s metabolism is vigorous, and the secretion of growth hormone increases, which will also stimulate the growth of cartilage. increased.

It is worth noting that children’s height does not grow at a constant rate, but in a regular manner. Yang Xue introduced that children’s growth can be divided into four key periods: fetal period, infancy, childhood and adolescence. Among them, infancy is the fastest growing stage in everyone’s life. In the first year, the baby’s height can increase by 25 cm, and after the age of 3, the growth rate remains stable at 5-7 cm per year; Under the combined effect, the child will appear “jumping tall” phenomenon, which can increase by 7-10 centimeters every year. In the late puberty (girls’ menarche, boys’ first spermatorrhea), sex hormones gradually close the epiphysis, and the growth rate slows down until it no longer grows.

“Under normal circumstances, girls go through puberty earlier than boys, so girls will enter the stage of rapid height growth first, and may appear higher than boys of the same age.” Yang Xue emphasized that whether it is a girl or a boy, from the birth of the child to the Before the growth stops, every stage and every day of growth is meaningful. Parents should not only pay attention to the “golden period” of their children’s height development, and let their children chase their height until puberty, but pay attention to each stage.

How to judge whether the height of the child is short?

“The easiest way is to compare with children of the same gender and age. If you are more than 5 centimeters shorter than these children on average, you should pay attention and go to a regular hospital for relevant examinations.” Yang Xue introduced that there is a clear definition of dwarfism in medicine. Diagnostic criteria: under similar living conditions, the individual height of children of the same race, sex and age is lower than the average height of the normal population by 2 standard deviations or lower than the 3rd percentile (that is, under the same conditions, 100 children Children with the first three short statures) can be defined as short stature.

“Parents should monitor their child’s growth rate regularly, measure their height every 3 months, trace the child’s height measurement on the growth curve, and then connect the plot points of multiple consecutive height measurements to see The child’s height growth trend has changed. If the child’s height growth is found to be abnormal, you need to go to the hospital for professional evaluation in time.” Ren Jinxia introduced that the growth curve is drawn from the data measured by a large number of representative healthy children’s physical surveys. The height is compared with healthy children of the same age and gender, and the child’s height and position in the crowd at different stages, growth speed at different stages, and long-term growth trend are presented at a glance.

Yang Xue introduced that for children suspected of growth retardation, doctors generally ask detailed medical history, conduct corresponding clinical observations and physical measurements, imaging and laboratory tests, including bone age testing, head and pituitary MRI examinations, growth hormone stimulation tests, and insulin therapy. IGF-1-like growth factor detection, organ function tests, etc., to clarify the etiology. According to the degree of growth retardation and the specific etiology, determine the individualized follow-up or treatment intervention plan.

It is not advisable to establish a scientific “height view” and encourage the growth of seedlings

In recent years, people have a more and more obvious feeling-the new generation of Chinese young people seem to be getting taller and taller, and the public data also corroborates this feeling. The “Report on the Status of Nutrition and Chronic Diseases of Chinese Residents (2020)” shows that in recent years, the average height of Chinese residents has continued to grow. The average heights of men and women aged 18-44 are 169.7 cm and 158 cm, respectively, an increase of 1.2 compared with 2015. cm and 0.8 cm; the average height of boys and girls aged 6-17 increased by 1.6 cm and 1 cm, respectively. A global survey by The Lancet also showed that during the 35 years from 1985 to 2019, the average height of Chinese men increased by nearly 9 centimeters, the largest increase in the world; the height increase of Chinese women ranked third, and their net height ranked East Asia First.

As the average height of the younger generation rises, some parents have increasing expectations for their children’s height, and some even fall into “height anxiety”. Yang Xue found that in addition to traditional methods such as diet, sleep, and exercise, these parents pinned their hopes on growth hormone injections.

“The use of growth hormone has strict requirements and restrictions. For children who are normally short, it is not recommended to inject growth hormone. Because it has side effects, it is recommended to start with adjusting diet, sleep and exercise.” Yang Xue said, Since the opening of the Children’s Short Stature Clinic in the headquarters of Beijing Chaoyang Hospital in May this year, more than 100 patients have been treated. In order to meet the strong public demand for medical treatment, the hospital has also recently set up a short stature clinic in the Changying Campus. “We found that some children are picky eaters. , too little exercise time and sleep time, etc., leading to growth retardation. For young children, we will chat with their parents and give them some advice on parenting; for those older children who already have their own ideas , In addition to giving advice to parents, we also need to talk to children, let them understand that height is their own business, tell them what needs to be improved, children can generally listen to it, and can do it.”

“Of course, if the child grows too fast, we should pay attention to it and carry out relevant examinations in time.” Yang Xue reminded that if the child’s recent height growth is fast and significantly higher than that of children of the same age, it may be premature development, and the epiphysis will close early, which will lead to premature growth. Shortening the growth and development period of bones leads to an unsatisfactory final height. “Some parents think that if they are taller, their children will not be short. You can’t take it for granted, and you should pay attention to your child’s height development.”

“It is recommended that everyone establish a scientific concept of ‘height’, and do not spoil the growth.” In the outpatient clinic, Yang Xue found that not many patients were really diagnosed with short stature, and some children who came to the clinic with their parents even had good development. “It’s usually the parents or the children themselves who have high expectations and requirements for height. When they see other people’s children measuring 1.8 meters, they also want their own children to grow that tall. In fact, everyone’s genetic target height is different. Compared with others, There is no meaning, and there is no need to pursue the higher the better. Before the epiphysis of the child is closed, we recommend that parents and children establish confidence that the child can grow to or slightly exceed the genetic target height, and give scientific support to the child within the scope of their ability , to help children develop a healthy lifestyle, that’s enough.”


General principles of physical activity guidelines for the Chinese population

1. Movement is beneficial, more movement is better, moderate strength, persistence is the most important thing.

2. Reduce static behavior and keep physically active every day.

3. Reach the recommended amount of physical activity.

4. Perform physical activity safely.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Adolescents

(1) Physical activity guidelines for children aged 2 and under

1. Engage in various forms of interactive play with caregivers every day.

2. Toddlers who can walk independently engage in at least 180 minutes (3 hours) of physical activity per day.

3. Restricted time (being hugged and restrained) shall not exceed 1 hour each time.

4. It is not recommended to watch various screens.

(2) Physical activity guidelines for children aged 3-5

1. At least 180 minutes of physical activity every day, including 60 minutes of active play, and encourage more outdoor activities.

2. Each static behavior does not exceed 1 hour.

3. The cumulative screen time per day is less than 1 hour.

(3) Physical activity guidelines for children and adolescents aged 6-17

1. Perform at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day, and encourage outdoor activities.

2. Muscle strength exercises and bone strengthening exercises at least 3 days a week.

3. Reduce static behavior. Each static behavior lasts no more than 1 hour; the cumulative screen time per day is less than 2 hours.

Source: “Guidelines for Physical Activity in China (2021)”

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