What is growth faltering?

Infants with growth faltering (failure to thrive or slow growth) have not been gaining weight normally. Their weight may be static (remaining the same) or may even be dropping. Their height and head circumference may also not be increasing normally. This is a very important growth pattern to recognise as most of these children have a medical, nutritional or social problem, which needs to be urgently diagnosed and managed. Faltering weight gain must be detected as soon as possible so that the cause can be corrected. Growth faltering may be the first sign of HIV infection.

A growth-faltering curve plotted on a centile chart

Slow growth or growth faltering are important signs that the child may be ill or not getting enough food.

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