When Do You Know if Your Child Has Stopped Growing?

By Candice Coleman
Girls typically finish puberty during their mid teens.
Girls typically finish puberty during their mid teens.

During the first year of your child's life, she grew by leaps and bounds. As she approaches her teenage years, her body will once again undergo rapid and dramatic changes. This process may last for a few years, and parents may be stumped when it comes to knowing if a child's growth has ended.

When Growth Spurts Begin

Girls will begin puberty roughly between the ages of 8 and 13, while boys tend to start puberty between 9 and 15, according to KidsHealth. Puberty typically takes about two or three years to finish, while some children may go through puberty for four or five years, says PBS Kids. When puberty finishes, most children should be at or near their adult height, with some children growing another inch or two in the years following puberty.

The End of Growth in Girls

Puberty brings about several changes in girls: the development of breasts, a curvier body, height increases, and the onset of menstruation, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Menstruation usually starts later in puberty -- about 2 to 3 years after the breasts start developing. In many girls, menstruation is one of the final signs of puberty. Your daughter may grow a few more inches before she reaches her adult height, usually in her mid teens.

The End of Growth in Boys

Puberty can also bring about dramatic changes for boys. A deepening voice, acne, maturation of the reproductive organs and dramatic increases in height and muscle mass are common hallmarks of puberty for boys, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Once your son has met all of these landmarks, he will likely stop growing. Boys may also experience tenderness or swelling in their chests during puberty, and this is temporary and normal, according to PBS Kids. Most boys will finish puberty during the later teenage years.

Growth Problems and Additional Help

Some boys and girls may enter their mid teens without beginning puberty. If you are concerned about your daughter's growth, take her to her pediatrician for help. Your daughter may be developing normally, but more slowly than average, says KidsHealth. In some cases, a child may need hormone therapy to induce the start of puberty, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Stunted growth or delayed puberty may also be caused by eating disorders or digestive problems. Solving those problems may help your child begin puberty.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.