My daughter wants to be tall

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This is an article from our “Doctor’s Corner” series, brought to you by Samitivej Hospital. Make sure to read the entire series!


Why is my daughter shorter than her friends? This could be a question of doubt in most mothers’ minds or even in their daughter’s mind when she is with her friends and feels that she is shorter than them. In order to provide mothers with the correct information and to enable them to answer their daughter’s questions, it is important to understand that many factors may affect a girl’s height including:

  • Genetics - Children have a tendency to be short or tall according to their parent’s height. If both parents are tall, the child will be tall but if one of the parents is tall, the child may either be tall or short, depending on whose genes the child has inherited
  • Growth Potential - Children with low birth weight or those who are small in size at birth, despite being born full-term, have a tendency to develop slowly and are likely to have a shorter stature when they grow up
  • Parenting - Parenting affects the growth of children. If children do not receive proper care and attention, this will have an adverse effect on their growth and development
  • Nutrition - Children should have an adequate intake of proteins to stimulate the Growth Hormone. Children who regularly drink milk will benefit from healthy growth and development. Discourage your child from eating food high in fat and starch. Avoid sweets as they may lead to obesity and short height
  • Growth Hormone - This hormone is secreted from the pituitary gland. The male hormone androgen, produced in the testicles, and female hormone estrogen, produced in the ovaries, also affect a child’s height
  • Diseases - Severe or chronic diseases and illnesses can also affect the growth of children. These illnesses may cause the child to have a short stature, especially in children who have poor absorption of food or suffer from lung diseases and diarrhea. Some bone diseases may affect the growth of the spine, resulting in a short stature. Other abnormalities and disorders such as Turner Syndrome in females may cause short height
  • Some drugs such as steroids - Continuous use of steroids can slow down growth in children
  • Rest - If your child sleeps soundly during the night, it can positively affect her height. Growth hormone is released when the child is asleep. Your daughter should go to sleep no later than 8 or 9 pm.
  • Exercise - Growth Hormone secretion increases during exercise. You should encourage your daughter to be involved in light activities and exercises to stimulate muscle movement, sweating, strength and exertion. Not only will this help in increasing her height, but also in development and growth in other areas

Some of the factors above such as genetics cannot be changed, but there are other factors that can be adapted to enable your daughter to be strong and grow to a suitable height. Encourage your daughter to regularly drink milk which is high in protein and calcium. In addition to aiding in the development and growth of your child, it also positively affects the bone. If your daughter is allergic to milk, she can have meat, eggs or other food that is rich in protein.

Looking for a doctor for your child’s physical development questions? We recommend:
Piyarat LertbunnaphongPiyarat Lertbunnaphong, M.D.
Pediatrics – Endocrinologist, Samitivej Hospital
Questions about your pregnancy, child birth or life with an infant? Ask the Doctor!

Samitivej, We Care!

For further information, please contact:

Child Health Institute
Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
2st Floor, Building 2
Tel: 66 (0) 2711-8236-7
Call Center: 66 (0) 2711-8181

Photo Credit: GabrielaP93 via Compfight cc

Samitivej Hospital

Samitivej Hospitals are world class international health care facilities located in Bangkok, Thailand.

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