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Failure to Thrive

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is failure to thrive?

Failure to thrive (FTT) is when your child does not gain weight or grow as fast as he or she should. FTT is a long-term condition and your child may continue to need treatment and monitoring as he or she grows up.

What causes FTT?

What are the signs and symptoms of FTT?

How is FTT diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will try to find conditions that may be causing your child's FTT. He or she will ask about any problems that occurred while your child was still in his or her mother's womb. He or she will ask what and how much he or she is being fed. He or she may also ask about how your family cares for your child.

How is FTT treated?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What are the risks of FTT?

Children with FTT have an increased risk for getting infections. Even with treatment, your child may not have normal increases in weight, height, and head growth. He or she may develop permanent health conditions. His or her mental abilities may develop at a slower rate. Your child may be more at risk for having problems with his or her behavior. If untreated, FTT can progress to life-threatening malnutrition or dehydration.

What can I do to prevent or manage FTT?

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.