Poor Weight In Children

One out of six children (roughly 10 crore) in developing countries is underweight. Most parents’ concern makes them wonder if something is wrong with their child’s growth. While some children grow slower because of genetics, others have a growth disorder – usually symbolised by inadequate gain in height or weight.

Growth Chart For Mapping Your Child’s Development:
The rate at which every child grows varies. Hence, parents should not compare their child’s rate of growth to other children. However, it’s important to keep a check on your child’s growth chart – how much weight is gained/lost and increment in height over a consistent period of time.

Soon after birth, an infant normally loses about 5 to 10% of his birth weight. By age 2 weeks, an infant should start gaining weight and growing. By age 4 to 6 months, an infant’s weight should be double their birth weight. During the second half of the first year of life, growth is not as rapid. Between ages 1 and 2, a toddler will gain only about 2.5 Kgs. Weight gain will remain at about 2.5 kgs per year between ages 2 to 5. Between ages 2 to 10 years, a child will grow at a steady pace. A final growth spurt begins at the start of puberty, sometime between ages 9 to 15. You can always consult your paediatrician for knowing your child’s ideal weight at his/her age.

When To Seek Medical Help?
Apart from following the growth development chart, also check for signs if your child gets easily tired, has low energy levels, fainting spells, and dizziness; catches infections easily or falls ill often and shows symptoms like absent mindedness and low concentration. If so, please seek medical help.
Causes Of Poor Weight:

• Inadequate intake of food: leads to deficiencies, if the food intake lacks adequate nutrients like iron, vitamins, proteins and calcium.
• Inability to absorb and retain nutrients: due to food intolerance like gluten sensitivity (allergy to wheat products) or lactose intolerance meaning the inability to tolerate milk/milk products.
• Medical issues: like worm infestations, or frequent illnesses like diarrhoea, fever, respiratory allergies, food allergies due to colours and preservatives in food, thyroid, or genetic diseases like Down’s syndrome or inborn error of metabolism; low weight in premature babies, etc. Sometimes medications interfere with absorption of food, like those for type 1 Diabetes and heart diseases. Even psychological / behavioural problems like mood swings, stubborn behaviour, anger and irritation in children can result in poor weight issues in children.
• Other reasons could include parents’ inadequate knowledge of food requirement for the age of the child; children skipping breakfast and unhealthy eating patterns or eating food with distractions such as TV or quarrels at home; forceful feeding where the child is punished physically/verbally for not eating food; making the child eat in a hurry; parents who don’t encourage taking healthy food or parents being either too strict or too yielding to the children’s demands.

Homeopathy Can Help!
Homeopathy effectively treats poor weight gain in children by treating children with food sensitivity/intolerance issue. Conventional medicines given to children for improving weight could have side-effects. Homeopathy provides natural appetite stimulators and helps improve absorption and assimilation of food.

Dr. Mukesh Batra
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