Growth, Weight Gain and Puberty for Grade-schoolers
What to expect on your child’s height and weight charts during his school-age years.
By: Gregory Germain, MD
On average, the steady growth of middle childhood results in an increase in height of about two inches a year (in both boys and girls) and weight gain averages of about six and a half pounds a year. Again, these are only averages that depend on a number of factors, including timing of puberty, how tall your parents are (genetic potential) and whether or not you are obese (obesity falsely advances your height curve). Discuss any concerns you have about these factors with your pediatrician.
In general, there seems to be a time of slightly increased growth between the ages of six and eight. This time may also be accompanied by the growth of a small amount of pubic hair, which is normal.
Pre-Puberty Body Changes
Sometime during grade school you will probably notice that your child’s body is starting to change in other ways as well. Puberty begins before most parents think it will. Your child will need your support, starting now and continuing all the way through the hormonal changes that will be coming.
The Beginning of Puberty for Girls
In girls, the first sign of puberty will be breast budding. This starts between ages eight and 14, on average, but can happen as early as age 6. Girls usually reach their peak growth period one year after they begin puberty. And menstruation usually starts two years after the onset of puberty.
The Beginning of Puberty for Boys
Boys usually start puberty a year or two after girls. The first sign for a male is enlargement of the testes and thinning and reddening of the scrotum. These changes can happen anytime between ages nine and 14. For boys, the peak growth period starts two years after they enter puberty.