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Natural growth hormone is a substance made by the body's pituitary gland. This pea-sized gland is found at the base of the brain. It releases hormones that control many of the body's functions. For example, natural growth hormone helps children grow, and adults need it to stay healthy.

Generally, children follow a growth pattern that includes reaching certain height milestones, although these can vary. Discuss milestones before the age of 2 with your doctor if you are concerned about your child's growth.

Grows around 3.5 inches a year

Most kids will have doubled their birth height by the time they are 4 years old


Grows around 2 inches a year

Puberty is a time of rapid growth spurts that are unique to each child

Signs to Watch For

You may observe that your child seems to be much shorter than other children his or her age. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor.

How a Doctor Measures Growth

During office visits, your doctor measures your child’s growth and records it on a growth chart. A growth chart is a tool that compares your child’s growth to the growth of other boys or girls the same age. You can download a growth chart here.

Normal variations are measured in “percentiles.” For example, if your child is in the 5th percentile in height, that means that 95% of children are taller, but your child may still be in the normal range.

If your child's growth is not in the normal range, your doctor may do more tests. He or she may also refer you to a pediatric endocrinologist who specializes in growth disorders.