Is Your Child Growing Normally?
That’s the question The MAGIC Foundation is asking. Today, they launched Growth Awareness Week aka Growth Spurt in an effort to raise awareness of growth related disorders affecting children around the world. This year, they expect to reach over 70 different countries and over 1 million parents. They email, text message, post to Facebook, Tweet, share videos, spread handouts, and post fliers, all to tell people… “Growth is a major factor in a child’s overall health“.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GROWTH AWARENESS:
Measuring & plotting a child on a growth chart is one of the least expensive, most non-invasive forms of preventative medical care available. Normal children grow 2 to 2 1/2 inches per year, after the age of three. Children should not cross the percentile curve on a growth chart, either in a downward or upward motion. While we focus on growth, it is not all about growth… it’s about health. And most important is MAGIC’s Motto… “Children have a short time to grow, and a lifetime to live with the results”.
WHY GROWTH AWARENESS WEEK MATTERS TO ME:
Both of my children were born with Congenital Hypothyroidism, a thyroid disorder that if left untreated, has devastating effects on a child’s mental and physical growth and development. My boys were screened at birth and diagnosed and medicated within weeks of birth. Sadly, many children around the world are not. I hope that by talking about growth related disorders, including Congenital Hypothyroidism, we raise awareness of the need for mandatory newborn screening for every child so that every child gets a fair start. We need easier, cheaper, and faster ways to screen newborns around the world. In the US, we need less delays on obtaining results of newborn screens and lower cut off thresholds for diagnosing Congenital Hypothyroidism in many states.
Having Congenital Hypothyroidism can also mean that you have growth related issues. Many children with Congenital Hypothyroidism are also diagnosed with growth hormone deficiencies. Both of my sons experienced growth issues within their first 2 years despite being well controlled on thyroid medication. These issues are important to talk about so that other parents may know what to look for and what resources are available. For me, the best resource on growth related disorders, particularly growth hormone deficiency, is The MAGIC Foundation. On their website, you can access growth charts and a wealth of other great resources.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT GROWTH AWARENESS WEEK:
You can help raise awareness of growth related issues by participating in this campaign. Ribbons to be used on Facebook and other social media outlets are available HERE. More resources on the campaign (photos, sample emails, etc.) are available HERE. At the very least, share this article so that others may know MAGIC’s Motto… “Children have a short time to grow, and a lifetime to live with the results”. You never know if your message may be the one to save a child!
By Blythe Clifford aka Thyroid Mom