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Nov 7, 2005

Below is a news release on a clinical report appearing in the November issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

For Release:
November 7, 2005, 12:01 am (ET)

CHICAGO - Failure to thrive is a common problem in infancy and childhood. It is most often caused by inadequate nutrition and disturbed social interactions, which contribute to poor weight gain, delayed development and abnormal behavior. A significant number of children develop the syndrome as a consequence of child neglect.

A new AAP clinical report for pediatricians serves as a guide to help assess, manage and support children who are failing to thrive as a result of neglect. "Failure to Thrive as a Manifestation of Child Neglect," defines failure to thrive (FTT) as a significantly prolonged cessation of appropriate weight gain compared with recognized norms for age and gender after having achieved a stable pattern. The fundamental cause of FTT is nutritional deficiency. Poverty is the greatest single
risk factor for FTT worldwide and in the United States. FTT can be unintentional, occurring with breastfeeding difficulties,
errors in formula preparation, poor diet selection or improper feeding technique. Such diseases as cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, HIV infection or AIDS, as well as several other chronic conditions can also cause FTT.

When FTT is caused by child neglect, certain risk factors are often present and should be considered by the pediatrician examining the child. The parent(s) of an infant with FTT may exhibit inadequate interactional social behavior. The parent may be a teen or have a history of a child abuse as a child. Family and social factors that may contribute to neglect include the lack of available extended family to help with child rearing, social isolation of the family, substance abuse, family violence, single parenthood and employment instability.

Strong indicators of FTT outlined in the report include:

  • Intentional withholding of food from the child;
  • Strong beliefs in health and/or nutrition regimens that jeopardize a
    child's well-being; and/or
  • Family that is resistant to recommended interventions.
Pediatricians are strongly encouraged to report cases of FTT that they suspect might be due to neglect to the appropriate child protective services agency.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

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Posted: Monday November 7, 2005, 8:55 am
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margaret b. (0)
Wednesday July 14, 2010, 10:40 pm
My neice in Utah had her kids taken away because her teenage daughter hit her in the stomach when she was pregnant and she slapped her daughters face. Her daughter ran out and called the police from the neighbors house. The police asked my neice if she wanted to press charges against her daughter , she told them no. They did take her daughter to detention. Next week the rest of her younger kids get a visit at school from the child protection services. from then on it became their worst nightmare. My sister has always tried to do everything to interfere and cause trouble for her children, she has always been so hateful, if not to one then to the other. One of her daughters moved as far as she could away from her and because of that my sister refuses to even answer her calls, just will not talk to her or her children, but I consider her the lucky one. My sister picked up my neice in Utah's daughter from detention and they both went to the child protective services and told a bunch of lies. They took my neice's children away and placed them in foster care. I called the supervisor of the social worker and told him they were nuts to believe anything my sister told them and that I couldn't believe they would do that to those children. I told him that my sister had child abuse charges on her in the past , but they still placed Lawny's daughter with her. Well it wasn't too long before her daughter wanted to go home. She ended up in foster care. She was real sorry for the lies she had told when she went along with her grandmother. What I would like to know is what can you do when you are paying $800 a month in child support, trying to live and keep a roof over your head, paying for classes they make you go to ,to try to get your kids back and can't afford a lawyer? If anyone has idea's please let me know.

Phillipa W. (199)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 4:29 am
It most certainly IS NOT. Many children have failure to thrive in utero, and their mothers gain weight and become obese in order to keep their child safe until birth. My son had it and he was fed almost non-stop, and I was eating and drinking water almost non-stop. He thrived in-utero, he thrived on solids, he simply did not thrive on breastmilk or formula. It happens. With constant feeding I kept him a healthy weight, although skinnier than optimal, and for that I'm proud. When you breastfeed a child for 20 hours a day, get back to me about how I neglected my son.


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female, age 52, single, 4 children
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