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How An App Can Help Monitor Your Child’s Growth

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Between the stresses of work, studying, running a business (or juggling all of these!), we understand that life as a mother can be challenging. With the help of the Growth Journey app, you can easily track your child’s growth and stay updated on every milestone.

The growth of a child is a significant indication of his/her health and irregular growth can be an early warning sign of medical problems. These kinds of medical problems first show themselves in a child’s irregular growth pattern, with growth hormone deficiency been identified in about 1 in every 3 800 children.

Therefore, it is important for parents to understand the significance of regularly checking their child’s growth development. This can be done during visits to your healthcare practitioner. For additional support and tracking, an easy to download growth app was launched this September 2020, in order to help parents to easily track their child’s growth.

“Growth is one of the fundamental differences between child and adult health care. Physical growth is an indicator and predictor of both present and future health. Among the numerous measures of growth, height and weight are perhaps the most important measures in childhood. While weight may change in adult life, height changes from conception to shortly after the end of puberty,” says Dr Kuben Pillay, a Paediatric Endocrinologist from Durban.

When a child is diagnosed as growth hormone deficient, it means his or her pituitary gland is not producing enough growth hormone. This could be due to hereditary or genetic conditions. Without enough growth hormone, a child does not grow the way he or she should, to reach his genetic potential or height and to attain well-being.

How to measure growth and treat a possible growth hormone deficiency

The typical growth of a child, which would be considered normal, is as follows:

  • From birth, infants grow about 20 cm in the first year of life

  • From 1 to 2 years of age, babies and toddlers grow about 10 to 13 cm

  • From 2 to 3 years of age, toddlers grow at a rate of about 7.5 to 10 cm

  • From age 3 years to puberty, growth is stable at around 5 to 6 cm per year until puberty

  • Most of a child’s growth occurs before puberty, but the pubertal growth spurt accounts for more than 20% of adult height.

When puberty occurs, there is a fast phase of growth. With this guide, parents can easily notice whether their child reaches the growth requirements. If, however, your child does not meet the growth requirements, he or she might need to consult with a healthcare professional, undergo tests and possibly undergo growth hormone therapy.

“Growth hormones continue to play an important metabolic role in adulthood long after the completion of linear growth, so growth hormone may become a lifelong therapy for children with childhood growth hormone deficiency whose condition persists into adulthood,” says Professor Thandrayen, Paediatric Endocrinologist at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. If effective, therapy should be continued for as long as there is a clinical benefit.

The Growth Journey app

To aid parents with checking their children’s growth, Novo Nordisk launched the Growth Journey app.

It is a free growth tracking app that uses a phone’s camera to help you track a child’s growth regularly. Parents can easily track their child’s growth as the app automatically measures a child’s height and records it in the growth book with a visual record of all the measurements. It also shows the child’s growth over time and compares it to those of other children in his or her age group.

The aim of this app is to enhance awareness regarding growth and short stature, remove obstacles for diagnosis and support early referral to specialists, enhance compliance on treatment and loyalty for existing patients and to establish initial screening of patients. This innovative digital solution is intended to provide simplicity and empower parents to take their children’s growth journey in their hands. The app is available for free on the Google Play Store and the iStore.

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