What is Failure to Thrive?

Failure to thrive is a diagnosis used to indicate inadequate physical growth–specifically in regard toFailure to Thrive weight or rate of weight gain–when compared to other children of similar age and sex. The majority of pediatricians will use the failure to thrive diagnosis when a child’s weight falls below the fifth percentile of the standard National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) growth chart or if the child’s weight crosses two major percentile lines.

What are some symptoms failure to thrive?

Children who are experiencing failure to thrive may be smaller in size (i.e. weight and height) compared to other children their age; however, it is important to realize that the spectrum of what is considered typical growth and development is quite large. A child who is experiencing failure to thrive may be missing key developmental milestones, such as sitting, crawling and walking.

How will my child’s failure to thrive progress if left untreated?

If a child who is failing to thrive is not treated medically and/or therapeutically, he may not achieve normal growth and development, and this may result in significant physical, mental, and/or social impairments.

How do I help treat my child who is experiencing failure to thrive?

A medical professional, like a pediatrician, will help to determine the primary reason for your child’s failure to thrive. Dieticians, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and/or mental health specialists may also be useful in exposing and treating the primary cause of failure to thrive.

Our approach to failure to thrive at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

Our multidisciplinary feeding team offers the most comprehensive treatment approach for children with failure to thrive. Our specialized team features a speech-language pathologist, dietitian, occupational therapist, and licensed professional counselor, all of whom are trained to deal with all aspects of failure to thrive. Therapy often targets the primary cause of failure to gain weight, and offers suggestions and therapeutic concepts to prevent future growth issues.

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