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by Carson-DeWitt R

Risk Factors

Failure-to-thrive is more common in boys. Many factors may contribute to an increased chance of developing failure-to-thrive in children, including:
Medical conditions:
Family and social factors may include:
  • Reduced availability of food
  • Giving non-nutritious foods
  • Withholding food
  • Breastfeeding difficulties
  • Depression in the parent
  • Lack of knowledge about proper nutrition and typical child growth patterns
  • Parent and child interaction or attachment problems
  • Lack of social support for parent
  • Severe family stress
  • Child abuse or neglect

RESOURCES - American Academy of Family Physicians - American Academy of Pediatrics



About Kids Health

Public Health Agency of Canada



Failure to thrive. Nemours Kid's Health website. Available at: Updated August 2011. Accessed August 20, 2013.

Failure to thrive in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated May 30, 2013. Accessed August 20, 2013.

Krugman S, Dubowitz H. Failure to thrive. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Sep 1;68(5):879-884.

Needlman, R. Failure to thrive: parental neglect or well-meaning ignorance? Am Fam Physician. 2001;63(9):1867-1869.

8/7/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. Bocca-Tjeertes IF, van Buuren S, et al. Growth of preterm and full-term children aged 0-4 years: integrating median growth and variability in growth charts. J Pediatr. 2012 Sep;161(3):460-465.


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