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Children's Health

Adoption and concern regarding measurements

10/27/2008

Question:

We are doing an international adoption and the baby girl referred to us is 11 months old. Her measurements are One day old: Height 44 cm ,Weight 4.29 pounds, Head 30 cm At 11 months: Height 69 cm, Weight 17.38 pounds, Head 42 cm Her birth weight seems very low and also her head circumferernce is in less than 3 percentile range. We want to know if this child is at a very high risk of developmental issues and if so what kind?

Answer:

In many ways the answer to your question depends upon the nationality and genetics of the child.  If you use US standards to calculate the percentiles it may underestimate the real issues.  If you were to find out that the head circumference was measured correctly and small for the nationality of the child, it may represent some developmental issue but it may just be that everything is fine and your child is in the smallest 3% of normal children.

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Response by:

Michael Spigarelli, MD, PhD
Formerly, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati