Every child is different in just about every way–height included. But did you know different things can affect height? Different ethnicities have different average heights. Certain disorders, such as down syndrome, can also have an effect on height. Different genders can also change the height of an average 10-year-old.
With more and more moms and dads entering the world of parenting, there are more and more questions arising. One question asked by many parents is, “Is my child a good average height? Or is he or she above or below?” Well, we have the answers for you!
Many things can affect the average height of any 10-year-old child:
- Genetic disorders
- When he or she hits puberty
Average height based on gender
On average, boys are taller than girls. We all know this, and there is nothing wrong with it. However, at 10 years old, the average height of a boy and a girl is close to the same.
Typically, the average 10-year-old boy is about 54.5 inches tall while the average height of a 10-year-old girl is 56.3 inches. At this age, it is very normal for girls to be a little taller than boys, as girls hit puberty earlier. This will be discussed later on.
However, the range for ‘normal’ height for a 10-year-old boy is between 50 inches and 58.8 inches. Some young boys will be taller than the average 54.5 inches and others will be shorter. So, don’t worry if you think your son is too short or tall–he isn’t! The normal range for a girl is roughly the same.
Average height based on genetics and ethnicity
Genetics is the main factor in determining height. Roughly 60-80 per cent of anything that determines height is genetics. The remaining percentages are things like nutrition and environmental factors.
How tall the mother is and how tall the father is can help you get an idea of how tall your child will be at any age. If both parents are tall, chances are your child will be on the taller side too. If both parents are short, your child will more than likely end up shorter. But you need to look beyond just parents.
Look at other biological relatives. If the mother is short like the grandmother, her child can still end up tall if her father was tall. This goes the same way for the father of the child, too. Looking at patterns of the heights of siblings (the aunts and uncles of the child) can also give you an idea of how tall your child might be.
Different ethnicities and/or races will also help to determine the height of your growing child. However, ethnicity will hardly affect the height of a 10-year-old girl or boy. At that age, it is rather standard on the height. However, you can guess how tall your child might be when they are older based on your ethnicity.
For men, on average, the height of an adult African American male is 69.5 inches. The average height of an Asian man is 67 inches and then the average height of a Hispanic man is 67.4 inches.
For women, the average height of an African American female is out 64.2 inches. The average height of an Asian female is 62.8 inches. Finally, the average height of a Hispanic female is about 62 inches.
However, looking at the genetics and ethnicity combined can give you a good idea of how tall your 10 year old might be.
Nutrition plays a huge factor in how tall your child might end up being by the time they are 10 years old. In many poor or third world countries, you might notice children are shorter than children in first world countries. This is often due to the fact that they get poorer nutrition than our children.
Even in poor parts of first world countries if a child is not getting the proper nutrition they might be shorter. Once the child starts to get decent nutrition, he or she will probably have a growth spurt depending on age and how much they needed to grow.
Genetic disorders and chronic illnesses
Genetic disorders and chronic illnesses can definitely affect the height of your child at any age. It is good to go talk to your child’s paediatrician if you are worried about any sort of disorder or illness affecting them in any way.
If your child has cancer, he or she might be shorter than they would have been if they were healthy. This is because the illness attacks his or her body and takes away extra nutrients that their bodies need to grow. Plus, chemo and radiation can halt a child’s growth because it works by killing off cells.
Arthritis can also impact height. While it is rare for a child as young as 10 to have severe arthritis, it can happen. Depending on the severity, arthritis can damage the joints and cause growth plates to form over and stop the child from growing.
Celiac disease is another that can stunt growth because nutrition might be less. Celiac disease is when you are truly allergic to gluten. You get incredibly sick and sometimes even need hospitalization. Those with celiac disease have a hard time finding enough foods that are 100% gluten-free that are affordable, thus the lack of nutrition.
Turner syndrome only affects females. It is a chromosomal condition and while it rarely affects intelligence, it will affect outward appearances as well as a few internal complications. The most common feature in women with Turner syndrome will be shorter. You can start to notice the height problem around age five, so by the time the child reaches 10, she will be much shorter than her classmates.
Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition in humans. Children with down syndrome have a slower rate of growth. They also tend to be shorter than their other children their age, even as young as 10 years old.
Puberty and height
Generally, around age 10 girls are a little taller than boys. This is because a girl enters puberty at a younger age. While boys start to show physical signs of puberty such as height as early as 10 years old, girls start around 8 years old.
In a young girl, the average for a girl’s growth rate to peak is around 12. After she begins menstruating, she will usually grow another 1-2 inches and then reach their final height around 14 or 15. This can vary depending on what age their cycle started.
In a young boy, their major growth spurt is about two years later than girls. So, while they might be shorter than their female peers, that will change once they hit puberty. Boys tend to grow fastest around ages 12 and 15 and slow down or completely stop around age 16.
Other factors affecting height
There are other smaller factors that we forget to think about when we think about height. Did you know that premature birth can change how tall your child can be? A smaller baby needs to catch up on growth at a young age and might continue to be ‘catching up’ throughout his or her life.
Being around cigarette smoke can also cause a child to be a little shorter. The toxic chemicals in the smoke damage cells when breathed in and therefore affect the child’s health. Also, having certain hormones or lacking certain hormones can cause a change in average height.
If a child has to be on certain medications for varying medical reasons, it can also change how they grow. Some will stunt growth more than realized, but height is nothing compared to the overall health of your child.
If you are concerned about where your child is on the growth charts, talk to his or her doctor about it. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions better than any information you will be able to find online.