Children's Growth Awareness Week
September 18 - 24, 2017
Is your child growing normally?
Did you know that growth delay is an early indicator of an underlying medical condition?
Children have a short time to grow and a lifetime to live with those results ®
Did you know?
There are hundreds of medical conditions that affect physical growth in children
Children only have a short time to grow, but a lifetime to live with the results
If growth is ignored it can have a major impact on the overall health and wellness throughout life.
Tracking physical growth is a crucial step toward monitoring your child’s health. Growth delay, even accelerated growth, can be early indicators of an underlying medical disorder. Tracking growth over time is important because it helps to identify trends. People come in all shapes, sizes, and heights. The purpose of following growth on a chart is to insure that your child is growing at the proper rate.
On July 23, 2014 the U.S. Senate passed the Growth Awareness Resolution, S. Res. 489, acknowledging children's Growth Awareness Week! This is the first time in American history that the federal government has acknowledged the importance of what a child's growth pattern can say about their overall health. Mary Andrews, Co-Founder of The MAGIC Foundation which spearheaded this effort, explained that there are hundreds of medical conditions which can impact a child's growth. "If, as parents, we understand how important annual measurements are, and what they can reveal about our child's health, we know to obtain medical care early, instead of waiting to see if they "outgrow" a problem. Because abnormal growth is a major indicator of a child's overall health. The goal is to educate parents and give doctors more time to intervene if needed to help the child before permanent damage occurs."
HERE ARE SOME WAYS YOU CAN HELP SPREAD
THE WORD ABOUT GROWTH AWARENESS
1. Social Media
Share the messages below throughout the week #GrowthAwareness #HealthNotHeight #MoreThanHeight
Growth failure in children is one of the earliest indicators of an underlying medical condition. Learn how to measure your kids and keep a growth chart at http://magicfoundation.org #GrowthAwareness #HealthNotHeight #MoreThanHeight
Measuring your child and keeping a growth chart can help you identify a medical disorders sometimes months or years before anything else. #GrowthAwareness #HealthNotHeight #MoreThanHeight
Have you seen your child's growth chart? It's important to keep one at home. Learn how at http://magicfoundation.org
No matter the height, normal growth in children is supposed to follow a growth curve. Learn the importance of measuring your child and plotting a growth chart at home at http://magicfoundation.org
I downloaded my growth chart and measured my child. Now it's your turn. Go to http://magicfoundation.org and get your free growth chart. #GrowthAwareness #HealthNotHeight #MoreThanHeight
Get free growth charts and learn how to measure your child at home at http://magicfoundation.org
2. Share the Growth Awareness Week press release with local media for additional coverage. Click here for a copy.
3. Distribute Flyers
Print a flyer below and distribute at your child's school, workplace, grocery store, church or community center. Do you work in an office building or a medical building? Consider printing the below door hanger and hang them on every office door!
4. Change your social media profile picture
During Growth Awareness Week, choose one of the below ribbons to use as your profile picture to show your support for a family member or friend.
History of Growth Awareness Week
The founders of MAGIC have worked tirelessly for (literally) decades to bring about awareness regarding the importance of monitoring children's growth. In September of 2011 an effort began to spread the simple message: Is your child growing normally? Find out! The families on MAGIC's social networks rallied in such a big way that it started an annual educational event. In 2012, again in the month of September, the simple text via emails and posts reached into more than 30 countries. Moms and dads in many languages were learning this basic and yet crucial information and had a online resource to find some answers. Flyers were made by some energetic parents and distributed at schools, some families had walks, others were interviewed by their local media. It was truly an "event" driven by the compassion of parents to help kids they would probably never meet.
In 2013, families began to push for more "legitimate" recognition of growth disorders as reports of children with growth hormone deficiencies (to cite one specific medical challenge impacting growth) were being bullied for taking the medication seemed to be escalating. The average person seeing reports of sports idols abusing the medications so desperately needed by these kids was seen as a "designer" item or a cheat to get bigger and stronger by those with healthy bodies. Fueling the fire were and still are more and more reports of abuse. This forced most families whose children rely on these medicines to survive in some cases, to hide. They instructed their children not to tell their friends that they took shots etc. to protect the children from the nasty comments made by other parents and children alike. And after some consideration, it was decided to try and get Congress to declare a Growth Awareness Week. The thought was daunting...but have you ever tried to tell a mother NO who was on a mission? Try telling thousands of moms and dads NO.
In June of 2014, with the help of MAGIC's staff, and MAGIC's teams of parents, other growth impacting organizations such as the Turner Syndrome Society, legislation was introduced. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) sponsored the bill with Senator Menendez (D-NJ) completed the bi-partisan circle and the resolution passed unanimously. Senator Hagan (D-NC), the Turner Syndrome Society and numerous others from around the country joined The MAGIC Foundation's initiative in support of this resolution. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has endorsed Growth Awareness. S. Res. 489 raises much needed awareness to the special patients our children are, and their often under-recognized challenges.
What does this resolution mean to families of already diagnosed children?
The decision to support Growth Awareness helps kids and their families feel some relief that "people" are finally taking their medical challenges seriously. Hopefully, these kids can begin to hold their heads up, instead of hiding because of the bullying other kids and even other parents for taking their medications. Height is just a visible marker of their health and growing says they are getting healthy. The passing of S. Res.489 also lets those people who don't want to pay for these truly necessary medical treatments, that public misconceptions are about to come to a halt. No longer will they be able to justify denying an ill child medication or treatments classifying them as unnecessary! These kids have to live a lifetime with one body. We should help them be as healthy as possible.
Official Senate Language
SRES 489 IS
S. RES. 489
Supporting the goals and ideals of "Growth Awareness Week".
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 26, 2014 Mr. KIRK submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
RESOLUTION Supporting the goals and ideals of Growth Awareness Week.
Whereas, according to the Pictures of Standard Syndromes and Undiagnosed Malformations database (commonly known as the POSSUM database), more than 600 serious diseases and health conditions cause growth failure;
Whereas health conditions that cause growth failure may affect the overall health of a child; Whereas short stature may be a symptom of a serious underlying health condition; Whereas children with growth failure are often undiagnosed;
Whereas, according to the MAGIC Foundation for children's growth, 48 percent of children in the United States who were evaluated for the 2 most common causes of growth failure were undiagnosed with growth failure;
Whereas the longer a child with growth failure goes undiagnosed, the greater the potential for damage and higher costs of care;
Whereas early detection and a diagnosis of growth failure are crucial to ensure a healthy future for a child with growth failure; Whereas raising public awareness of, and educating the public about, growth failure is a vital public service;
Whereas providing resources for identification of growth failure will allow for early detection;
and Whereas the MAGIC Foundation for children's growth has designated the third week of September as "Growth Awareness Week":
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate--
(1) designates the third week of September 2014 as "Growth Awareness Week"; and
(2) supports the goals and ideals of "Growth Awareness Week".