What's the best way to predict a child's adult height?

Answer From Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.

There's no proven way to predict a child's adult height. However, several formulas can provide a reasonable guess for child growth. Here's a popular example:

  • Add the mother's height to the father's height in either inches or centimeters.
  • Add 5 inches (13 centimeters) for boys or subtract 5 inches (13 centimeters) for girls.
  • Divide by 2.

Another way to estimate a child's adult height is to double a boy's height at age 2 or a girl's height at age 18 months.

If you're concerned about your child's growth, talk to a health care provider. Your provider can use a standardized growth chart to find out if your child's growth is adequate and to estimate your child's adult height. To do this, your provider records your child's height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) or head circumference. Then, your provider will use a standardized growth chart to see how your child is growing compared with that of other children the same age and sex.

Remember, a child's height is largely controlled by genetics. It's also important to note that children grow at different rates. Some children begin their growth phases early, while others are late bloomers.

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March 02, 2022 See more Expert Answers