March 16, 2010,
V.L. asks from Conroe, TX on March 13, 2010
Weight for a 4 Year Old???
My 41/2 year old daughter went to the doctor last week and the doctor said she was on the verge to get overweight. I am really perplexed because she looks GREAT and is just Solid like most of my family(My grandpa is 7'2). Now she was born early so growth charts have never matched up for us. She is 43 inches and weighs 42 lbs. She is in the 100th percentile for height and 95th for weight. Now she was underweight for a LONG time she had undiagnosed reflux and ENT problems for almost a year at age 2-3. She was placed on medication for the reflux and had surgery for the massive ear infections(tubes and adenoids) It is a miracle she can eat again. She put on 9 lbs since the surgery and eats a variety of foods, healthy stuff for the most part. She gets occasional candy or cake from the birthday events we attend. She is Active with swimming and gymnastics. I was floored everyone thinks she is 6 because she is so tall. I just don't know what to think any advice what are your thought how much does your 4.5 year old weigh????
So What Happened?™
Thank you thank you! I was thinking she seems just fine, and my husband and I think so also. I am thinking that maybe what he is seeing is the huge increase in the last year due to her medical problems being corrected. When I say my child was sick I mean SICK she barely ate for about 8 months due to reflux and massive ENT problems since the surgery and the 6 months of prevacid she is able to enjoy food again. I think that doctors forget things like this and I think he needs to be reminded of this. If I EVER hear him say anything to me about her weight in front of her again I will find a new doctor and will let him know he had better watch it. I think they pay WAY to much attention to the charts and forget to look at the kid. She looks GREAT! My mom and I are both tall she is 6 feet and I am 5'10 and we HAVE never been able to be super skinny! Take a lot to carry this height around!
L.B. answers from Houston on March 15, 2010
I'm in the same boat with my son. He will be five in May and is already 52 inches tall and 61 pounds. He is also solid. He has always been way off the charts in growth and very high percentile in weight. As long as you are watching what she eats and limit the other stuff (as most people I think do) I wouldn't worry about it. Its great she is tall - help her embrace it and love it!!!
C.B. answers from Austin on March 15, 2010
I too come from big people and you cannot use charts on us. She is fine as long as she is eating healthy foods and getting her exercise. Celebrate her height! I am glad to know I am not the only "Amazon" left. cb
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M.P. answers from Portland on March 14, 2010
I wouldn't be concerned. The fact that she's in the 100th percentile for height and 95th for weight tells you that she's a large child. We are concerned about childhood obesity now. It's getting alot of attention in the press. I suspect that he's just suggesting that you watch that she doesn't become overweight.
Often, what the doctor talks with us about, is based on the average person and what is of concern within the general public. (S)he is speaking in general terms and not intending for us to be more than interested in the knowledge. As long as your child's weight is at or below the same percentile as their height they are fine. If their weight starts to creep up past their height then it's a good idea to more closely monitor their diet.
J.T. answers from College Station on March 15, 2010
I would relax. Everyone is on this obesity in kids bandwagon. You seem to be doing the right things for her- sports, good,healthy foods. I would not worry about it one bit. I find it really hard to say a 4 year old is over weight unless they are obviously obese. They are often still carrying that "baby fat" that they will shed soon.
If you are really concerned, watch her portion sizes and snacks.
S.H. answers from Honolulu on March 13, 2010
Well, my son is 3.5 year old, and weighs 40 pounds. HE is not overweight, nor pudgy, nor chubby, nor fat. He has no fat on him, but he has "muscles." He is lanky and tall for his age (taller than some 5 year olds), and people think he is in Kindergarten. But he is just 3.5 years old. Our Ped has never had a problem with his weight or height or girth or physique. He is solid. He has always been in the upper percentiles for everything, since birth. He is proportionate.
Maybe ask the Ped, "why" he thinks she is on the verge of being "overweight." Ask him to clarify that... and tell him about her activities/diet/lifestyle which does seem very healthy. And she participates in physical activity too.
I would really ask the Ped to clarify that... per HER situation. Not just numbers generically on a chart.
Ultimately, you don't want a girl especially, to get hung-up on their weight/appearance/physique/figure... since girls can get hung up on their body image too, even at a young age.
All the best,
T.S. answers from Sacramento on March 13, 2010
My 4 year old son is also just a tiny bit over 43" (and also gets mistaken for an older child). He is very strong and solidly muscular. He only weighs 37 or 38lbs, however. You know your daughter and if you are comfortable that she is leading a healthy lifestyle that's what I'd go with. I will say, however, that we as adults tend to dismiss a couple of lbs here or there as insignificant, but if you only weigh around 40 lbs, 4lbs is 10% of your body weight, so being over or under weight by that much would be like a grown woman being up or down by 15lbs... just trying to put it in perspective.
Did you get a chance to ask the doctor what exactly he meant and what, if anything, he thinks needs to be changed? Sometimes when I'm actually at an appointment, I don't have my thoughts together enough to actually ask my questions or voice concerns about things that surprise me. It's probably worth making phone call back to him.
Hope this helps.
K.S. answers from Minneapolis on March 13, 2010
I guess I would be more worried if she were 95% for weight and something like 50% for height. But her weight and height seem proportionate. Plus, kiddos grow in such crazy spurts. At her next check-up, her %tiles could look very different. If you know she eats healthy foods and is an active, happy child, then set aside the charts for now.
BTW - I have a 4 1/2 yr old. He is 37 lbs and and 39 inches (he's a shortie!) and he looks good to me and that will have to be good enough for everyone else. In fact, to my eye, he looks "sturdy" but compared to his classmates he looks the same or thinner.
D.W. answers from Indianapolis on March 13, 2010
This should make you feel better - my 23 month old daughter is 34 lbs. She's always been big (tall and heavy), and our pediatrician has no concerns. Her 3.5 year old brother is 38.5 lbs. Different kids, different builds.
Have you checked the growth charts? Google "pediatric growth char girl" and plot her height/weight on the chart to see what percentile she falls into.
I'm guessing if her weight were a concern for your pediatrician, you would already now.
K.A. answers from Austin on March 16, 2010
I have always been told by my doctor that you want the growth chart to be about even. My daughter, for example , has always been 75% in height and 95% in weight. So yes, mine is overweight. But if yours is 100/95, and she looks healthy then, I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it. If she eats healthy and is active then she's good! Hope this helps.
M.M. answers from Jacksonville on March 13, 2010
We called that sqare. My son was 43 in tall and weighed 43 pounds. THen he was 50 some odd inches and weighed the same in pounds.
I also think it may be a good idea to look for a different Dr. What you don't want is a pediatrician saying things like this when she is 10 or 12 and very self conscious about everything already. Then you have an eating disorder.
One of the things I tell my girls is this. Your grandmas and I weigh this much and we are this tall. It is in your genes to be like this. The best thing you can do for your body is exercise and eat healthy foods.
If the weight starts to get out of control and she is way off the charts on weight then have other tests done, but she is 95% and 100% on weight and height, that doesn't sound too outrageous to me.