Can exercise stunt a child's growth?

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Can exercise stunt a child's growth?

Parents worry that kids who are exercising a lot might not grow so well. The reality is that in our country, most kids don't get enough exercise. So for the majority of children, we don't need to worry about this at all, and our kids should be getting outside, running and playing more. Now for kids who are really athletic and competitive, it's not that the athleticism will stunt your growth; it's that you need to keep up with the calories that your child is burning through. So your child might need to eat more than another child their age in order to make sure they have enough energy to metabolize doing their sport. I do worry sometimes that highly competitive kids might be hard on their knees or ankles or hips, and those are joints that can take a beating when you're young. So you want to talk to a doctor if your child has any joint complaints. But in general, athleticism will not stunt your growth.

Watch Video: Can exercise stunt a child's growth? by Cara Natterson, MD, ...


Expert Bio

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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