Is every stunted child stunting? | Kunthi Kumalasari Hardi, M.Ed., BCBA from BehaviorPALS Center| Kinderkloud

Is every stunted child stunting?

monitoring baby development is very important

Currently stunting is a priority of the Indonesian government. Almost all pediatricians, or child health workers in Indonesia must help make the stunting-free program for Indonesian children successful. Stunting is often understood as a child who fails to thrive or is short. What exactly is stunting?

 

Stunting is a symptom of failure to thrive, such as a child not growing in length due to malnutrition. Lack of nutrition is the cause of stunting because when a child is malnourished, his body will focus on providing nutrients to important organs. The first important organ where nutrients will be distributed is the brain, then nutrients will be distributed to the heart organ. Then how can stunting happen?

 

Stunting occurs because the bones of the child's body do not get enough nutrients at critical times for bone growth. This makes the child fail to grow, or also called stunted. This is very impactful because someone who experiences stunting will have an impact throughout his life. So, for example, a child is known to be stunted at the age of 6 years, so even if the child is then given various bone supplements, this will not improve the child's bone growth.

 

However, are all short children stunted?

 

Not all short children are stunted. Children who are short, or shorter than other children of the same age can also occur because the parents of the children have short stature. In short, children can be short because they have a genetic predisposition to be short. Another cause of short children is the presence of bone abnormalities and also the low growth hormone that children have. Regarding growth hormone, this is not only caused by a lack of child nutrition but also due to a lack of sleep. When a child has difficulty sleeping at night, this has the potential to inhibit the release of growth hormone which comes out the most when the child is fast asleep at around 1 o'clock in the morning. So to determine whether a child has stunting or not, this must be done through an assessment from a professional such as a pediatrician.



 

What can be done to prevent stunting?

Stunting can be prevented in the womb by ensuring that the mother's nutrition is adequate during pregnancy. During the womb, the growth of important organs in the baby has occurred, including the growth of the brain and bone organs. Furthermore, when the baby is born, adequate breastfeeding is also a way to prevent stunting. Mother's breast milk already has the best nutrients and antibodies that children need which cannot be replaced by formula milk. However, the mother needs to make sure that the child is also getting enough milk. This can be ensured by good attachment between mother and baby while breastfeeding, for example ensuring that the baby's stomach meets the mother's stomach. 

 

Another thing that is also important to do to prevent stunting is to measure the baby's weight, length, and head circumference regularly, then plot the child's growth rate into a graph from the World Health Organization (WHO) for boys and girls. . Taking regular and accurate measurements will help us realize whether the baby is getting enough nutrition, then if there are measurements that are lacking, for example the child's weight does not increase, then intervention can be carried out immediately to ensure that the child can grow well in the future. 

 

Written by Kunthi Kumalasari Hardi, M.Ed., BCBA from BehaviorPALS Center

 

Source:

de Onis, M., & Branca, F. (2016). Childhood stunting: a global perspective. Maternal & child nutrition, 12 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), 12–26. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12231


 

stunting, baby development

Newborn 0 - 6 Months / Newborn 0 - 6 Bulan / Physical Development / Tumbuh Kembang Fisik / Health / Kesehatan / Is every stunted child stunting?

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