Patterns can include weight declining through centile spaces, having low weight for height, or experiencing no catch-up from a low birth weight. The following patterns enable healthcare professionals to identify faltering growth in children and address potential issues:
Poor parallel lines:
Observing poor parallel lines on growth charts may indicate a deviation from the expected growth trajectory. This visual cue prompts healthcare professionals to investigate potential underlying causes.
Discrepancies in family pattern:
Comparing a child's growth pattern with that of their family can reveal noteworthy differences, providing valuable insights into potential genetic or environmental influences on growth.
A retrospective rise in growth charts, indicating a previous period of faltering growth, is another noteworthy pattern. Recognising this trend enables healthcare professionals to address historical factors contributing to sub-optimal growth.
The presence of a saw-tooth pattern, characterised by irregular ups and downs in growth, may indicate intermittent challenges affecting a child's development.
Dispelling socioeconomic stereotypes:
Contrary to traditional beliefs associating faltering growth with low socioeconomic status, recent research has debunked this notion. Studies have shown that the link between FG and socioeconomic status is not as straightforward as previously assumed. While there may be a larger association between neglected children and faltering growth, this correlation does not equate faltering growth with neglect.(4,5)