Failure to thrive
Failure to thrive (FTT) is widely used to describe inadequate growth in early childhood, but no consensus exists concerning the definition of FTT. FTT is not a disorder, it is a physical sign that a child is receiving inadequate nutrition for optimal growth and development. It may result from a variety of “organic” and “nonorganic” causes or a combination of both. More than 80% of children with FTT do not have an underlying medical disorder. No routine laboratory tests are ordered in the initial work-up of failure to thrive unless suggested by the history or physical examination. Infants and children who develop FTT are at increased risk of long-term growth, development, and behavior problems. Children diagnosed with failure to thrive need to receive 150 percent of the recommended daily caloric intake for their expected weight for age. A team approach and long-term close follow-up are necessary for the successful management of these children.