I know that the news on this page is mainly about pop-culture and that this is far from the normal review you may see, but I’d like to take a moment to reflect on Annual Growth Awareness week. Up until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of such a movement. Having researched it specifically for this week, I am now wondering why I hadn’t. I have three kids of my own and worrying about whether or not they are growing “normally” is always on my mind.
On July 23rd of this year, Congress signed in to affect that every third week of September shall now be deemed Annual Growth Awareness week. Much like the Earth Day and Mental Illness Awareness Week, the week will be dedicated to providing information on the topic of Annual Growth Awareness in children.
The main goal of the movement is to bring attention to health conditions that will affect the overall growth of a child. These conditions can affect the growth of a child in a multitude of ways. Some in which can cause greater and further damage, the longer they are unchecked.
Have you ever wondered if your child was too skinny, too fat, or too short? These are questions that most people ask their kids’ doctors and, while most parents are met with the “let’s wait and see” game, should be taken seriously. Yes, these are very broad questions but the answers could be a precursor to a life altering event. It’s important to know that not every pain is a “growing pain” when it comes to kids. Some of the symptoms could seem harmless (i.e. pains in the legs, headaches, shoulder pains) but could turn out to be serious issues.
While growth failure is sometimes undiagnosed, it is important to always keep in mind that not every child is the same. The fact that all children are different is another factor in why this week is so important to getting the information and awareness out. The Pictures of Standard Syndromes and Undiagnosed Malformations (“POSSUM” database) states that there are more than 600 serious diseases and health conditions that can cause growth failure. While it is common for growth failure to go undiagnosed, it is a movement like this that will put this epidemic to rest, once and for all.
I also want to point out that this week isn’t only about the bad things. Growth Awareness Week is also about being more involved in the overall health of our children. One sign of a healthy child can be height. If a child’s height is above average, or even average for that matter, it can be a sign that the child’s body is healthy and that they are on the road to a healthy lifestyle.
However, you shouldn’t just look at children’s height being the only factor when it comes to their overall health. A child can be healthy and still be small. Paying attention is the key and that is what the real driving factor behind Growth Awareness Week is.
For more information about Growth Awareness Week and how to spread the word, please visit the following site:
There is a lot of great information and even ways that you can help bring more awareness.