Home > Teens > Puberty and Sex > Changes During Puberty > Teen Is Embarrassed About His Height
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Teen Is Embarrassed About His Height

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Shari Nethersole, M.D.

Q: My 17-year-old son is 5'4" tall and hasn't grown in two years. Will he grow any taller? Can anything be done at this point? He is self-conscious about his height.

A: Whether or not your son will grow any further is dependent on what stage of puberty he is in. While children grow a certain amount each year, boys usually have their big growth spurt in the later part of puberty, after the testes have grown substantially, the pubic hair has grown dense, and the penis has grown to almost its adult size.

After this growth spurt, the growth plates in the bones fuse, and there is no further increase in height. Although most boys have gotten to this point by 17, a few have not, and therefore will continue to grow even while in college. On the other hand, boys who go through puberty on the early side will have completed all of this by age 14 or 15, and then not grow any further.

Since you say your son hasn't grown in the past two years it seems more likely that he has completed his growth already, but no one can say this for sure without examining him to see if he has gone completely through puberty. If he is still is only part of the way through puberty then further growth is possible.

I recommend that you take him to see his pediatrician or an adolescent medicine or family physician (not a physician who treats only adults) with your questions. That way he can be examined, and get a more accurate assessment of his weight, height, stage of puberty, and general health.

More on: Expert Advice

Shari Nethersole is a physician at Children's Hospital, Boston, and an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and did her internship and residency at Children's Hospital, Boston. As a pediatrician, she tries to work with parents to identify and address their concerns.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Teachers
Offer a genuine "thank you" to your child's teacher halfway through the school year. Give one of these extra-nice holiday gifts for teachers.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!