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What Are Appropriate Weights & Heights for Children?

by Candice Coleman

During the first several years of her life, your child will grow more than she will at any other point in her life. Children grow at different rates and some may be taller or shorter than the average. A pediatrician will routinely examine your child during the early years to look for any abnormal growth patterns.

Girls' Growth

On average, girls who are 4 years old stand between 37 and 42.5 inches tall and weigh about 28 to 44 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The average height for girls increases to 47 to 54 inches at age 8; weight increases to 44 to 80 pounds. As a girl prepares to enter puberty at age 12, she may stand between 55 and 64 inches tall and may weigh between 68 and 136 pounds. Most girls will reach their full adult height during the mid teenage years.

Boys' Growth

Boys and girls tend to have similar average height and weight ranges after age 6. The average 4-year-old boy stands between 37.5 and 43 inches tall and weighs about 30 to 44 pounds, notes the CDC. By his eighth birthday, the average boy stands between 47 and 54 inches and weighs between 46 and 78 pounds. As he closes in on his twelfth birthday, he may measure between 54 and 63.5 inches and weigh between 66 and 130 pounds.

Children Who Are Smaller Than Average

Not all children grow according to the average, and this does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with a child. Factors that impede growth during pregnancy, like premature birth, can lead to shorter stature during childhood. Genetics can also play a part in a child's height and weight. Malnutrition could also be a possible reason why a child is shorter and weighs less than average. Take your child to his pediatrician if you are concerned about his growth. The highest priority is that he is growing at a steady and predictable rate.

Children Who Are Larger Than Average

If a child is taller than average, she may come from a family that is also taller than average. She may also go through a growth spurt during the early years before leveling off at an average height, according to KidsHealth, a child development site. If your child weighs more than average, it may be because she is also taller than average or has a larger build. A lack of exercise and poor eating habits could also play a role in higher-than-average weight. Your pediatrician can determine if your child's weight is healthy.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

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