Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Failure to Thrive
Failure to thrive is a term used to describe a child who seems to
be gaining weight or height more slowly than other children of his or her age
and sex. A baby who has failed to thrive may seem slow to develop physical
skills, such as rolling over, standing, and walking. Slow growth also can lead
to delays in mental and social skills.
Failure to thrive can be caused by medical conditions, such as
anemia or thyroid problems. Some children do not thrive as expected because
they do not get enough to eat or they have emotional problems. A child who has
poor eating habits may also have stunted growth.
Not getting enough nutrients is the immediate cause of failure to
thrive, but the ultimate cause may be complicated and hard to determine.
Failure to thrive may point to caregiver
depression or another mental health problem that makes
it hard for the caregiver to interpret or respond to the child's needs.
If your child's failure to thrive is caused by a medical condition,
your doctor may be able to treat the condition. That may be enough to help your
child begin to gain weight at a normal rate. If your child has emotional
problems or has been affected by conditions at home, treatment may need to
include counseling and improving the home situation.
Your doctor may recommend that your child receive nutritional
therapy in the hospital. Your child may be able to develop at a normal rate if
the period of failure to thrive has been short.
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if:
Call your doctor for an appointment if:
Current as of:
July 19, 2012
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Call First Nurse 24 Hours a Day for free health care advice, resources and referrals!
Ames: 515-239-6877In Iowa: 800-524-6877
Search health information online in our Mulimedia Health Library.
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Patient Privacy |
Net Learning for Employees |
MGMC PACS for Physicians
1111 Duff Avenue Ames, IA 50010 - 515-239-2011 - email@example.com
©2014 Mary Greeley Medical Center - All rights reserved.