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Faltering Growth – Recognition and Management

London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK); Sep 2017.

Faltering Growth – Recognition and Management

National Guideline Alliance (UK).


The term ‘faltering growth’ (previously called ‘failure to thrive’) is widely used to refer to a slower rate of weight gain in childhood than expected for age and sex. The term faltering growth is preferred as periods of slow growth may represent temporary variation from the expected pattern and the word ‘failure’ may be seen as pejorative. Various definitions of faltering growth have been used in the past, meaning estimates of prevalence in the UK vary widely. This guideline covers recognition, assessment and monitoring of faltering growth in infants and children. It includes a definition of growth thresholds for concern and identifying the risk factors for, and possible causes of, faltering growth. It also covers interventions, when to refer, service design, and information and support.

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