Growth Rates and Your Third Grader
Is my child growing up too fast? Kids are growing larger and faster than ever before. Find out what it means for your child.
What You Need to Know
The average third grader will grow between 2–3 inches in height each year and gain 4 to 6 pounds. Every child is different, though. Children of different ethnic backgrounds may be taller or shorter than the average.
When should you worry about your child’s growth rate? A good rule is if he or she falls below the 10th percentile or above the 90th for either height or weight.
People have been getting larger over the past century, gaining an average of 2 cm per decade. Whether this is because of factors such as nutrition, health care, or evolution isn’t really known. But an outcome of this trend is that children are maturing at a younger age. Girls as young as 8 may begin to show signs of puberty.
How You Can Help
- Keep a growth chart of your child’s height and weight and add to it each year. It’s fun and a good way to monitor your child’s progress.
- Parents need to be concerned about childhood weight, as childhood obesity is a growing problem that negatively affects a child’s current and future health. Calculate your child’s body mass index to see how he fares. This online calculator from the Centers for Disease Control will show you how: http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dnpabmi/. You can learn more about body fat and muscle mass in your child at this Education.com page: http://www.education.com/reference/article/body-fat-levels-muscle-mass-middle/.
For more information about your child’s body development, please see the full article:
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