What's Trending : An app to help you monitor your child’s growth.

By Phumzile Mavimbela

The Growth Journey App is a free growth tracking app that uses a phone’s camera to help you track a child’s growth regularly. Parents can now easily track their child’s growth as the app automatically measures a child’s height and records it in the growth book with a visual record of all the measurements. It also shows the child’s growth over time and compares it to those of other children in his or her age group. 

The aim for the launch of this app is to enhance awareness regarding growth and short stature, remove obstacles for diagnosis and support early referral to specialists, enhance compliance on treatment and loyalty for existing patients and to establish initial screening of patients. This innovative digital solution is intended to provide simplicity and empower parents to take their children’s growth journey in their hands. The app is available on Play Store on Android and iPhone at no cost to download. 
According to Dr Pillay “Changes in patterns of growth may occur during any of 3 different growth phases through childhood and may be due to numerous different causes. These phases are the period between conception and the end of the first year of life (the infant phase), from approximately 1 year of age until the start of puberty (child phase) and between the start and end of puberty. 

There are different causes that may change growth in these phases and thus, the timing of the change in growth may offer important clues to the underlying cause. For example, nutrition both in the womb and after delivery may result in changes in patterns of growth during the infant phase. 

Congenital abnormalities (particularly bone abnormalities) and genetic disorders may also be causes. During the child phase many more possibilities may influence growth including genetic disorders (e.g. Turner syndrome), severe chronic disease (heart disease, severe asthma, kidney, etc.), severe malnutrition and hormonal disorders. Growth in puberty is due to effects of the hormones of puberty viz. testosterone in boys and oestrogen in girls.”

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