How is pediatric growth failure (failure to thrive) prevented?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Andrew P Sirotnak, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Prevention of growth failure related to parental neglect and family and/or social dysfunction can be viewed on primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.

Primary prevention involves careful assessment and monitoring of all families in primary care practice for any risk factors as reviewed above.

Secondary prevention involves monitoring and intervention when these risk factors or situations are identified in a family or child. Consider early intervention as a mode of prevention in cases in which the goal is preventing the potential morbidity of growth failure.

Tertiary prevention involves cases that have been identified and where intervention has begun to address the growth failure. Prevent further growth failure, with the resultant developmental disability and poor outcome morbidity, by creating and implementing a care plan that involves detailed review (see Treatment).

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