What Is Failure to Thrive Syndrome in Children

The ability of a child to grow normally is sometimes taken for granted by several uninformed parents. As a result, some children develop a condition commonly referred to as failure to thrive syndrome (FTT). This is a serious condition that causes children to have an unhealthily low growth and development rate. This can be avoided with routine trips to you pediatrician. This will ensure a consistent monitoring of your child’s pattern of development and it can give you an idea if your child is showing symptoms of FTT. Your pediatrician will be able to tell you what steps can be taken to improve you child’s development rate.

Children who are diagnosed as failure to thrive often stop gaining weight or height. They may even take steps backwards and loose some weight. These children are small for their age, and often look malnourished, even though they are eating frequently. Having a child diagnosed as a failure to thrive case is a scary situation for a parent.

A child’s food intake is the main focus when a pediatrician is treating a child with failure to thrive syndrome. Of course, the number of calories that a child consumes is a paramount concern. Too few calories can hinder a child’s growth and development. But there is the issue of mal-absorption, too. If a child has an unknown allergy to the foods that are being consumed, it can cause those foods to not be absorbed by the body in a nutritious or productive manner. As a result, the child has a tendency to suffer from the failure to thrive syndrome.

Other feeding issues might be gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux disease or GERD. Since these diseases cause eating to be painful for your child, she might not eat as much as she should. Babies who are still nursing may have difficulties with their latch, which makes them appear to be eating while not actually taking in much milk.

When feeding issues are ruled out upon diagnosing a failure to thrive child, pediatricians often look for other health problems. At times, failure to thrive can indicate there is a more serious problem, such as heart disease, cystic fibrosis, and even juvenile diabetes.

Once the cause of the poor weight gain is established, the doctor will direct you as to the best course of action to get your child’s weight where it should be. Often, increasing the calories or changing the child’s diet is one option for treating failure to thrive. If a more serious medical condition is discovered, then this disease will be treated.

Any parent who is concerned that their child may be suffering from failure to thrive syndrome should, first and foremost, seek medical treatment for their child. Dwelling on feelings of guilt or shame are not helpful to neither the parent nor the child. The importance does not lie in whom or what is to blame for the ailment, but rather how to go about correcting it.

Updated: 4 September 2017 — 7:42 pm
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