Many teenage boys and girls tend to want to know more about growing taller rapidly, such as when it will begin and when it will stop.
For most boys, a sudden increase in height could spell the difference between being basketball players or something else in the future. On the other hand, for a lot of girls, growing taller quickly than the rest of their peers could cause them to stick out like a sore thumb and feel awkward.
Phases of growing taller suddenly are called growth spurts, and both boys and girls will undergo them several times in their lives.
So, how many growth spurts do boys and girls have?
Young people undergo multiple growth spurts before puberty ends. Boys and girls have significant growth spurts during the teenage years. However, they happen not only during the puberty stage but also in infancy. A few short bursts of growth spurts also occur throughout childhood.
Whether you are a teenage boy or girl who is concerned with your height or a parent who is worried that your teenage child isn’t tall enough, keep on reading. Below you will find some of the most essential matters that you need to know about growth spurts.
Growth Spurts Begin Even Before Puberty Hits
A lot of people assume that growth spurts happen only during the puberty stage, which is a stage where the development of various secondary sex characteristics takes place.
In girls, they include the enlargement of the breasts and widening of the hips.
On the other hand, boys include the deepening of the voice, broadening of the chest and shoulders, and growth of facial hair. All of these are telltale signs that teens have reached fertility.
However, if truth be told, it is not just during the puberty stage when growth spurts take place. They can also happen during infancy as well as childhood.
When you were an infant, before you reached your very first birthday, you grew about 10 inches in length.
What’s more, you tripled your birth weight. The occurrence of growth spurts continued throughout your childhood. Kids keep on growing until they reach puberty, although it is usually a combination of slow growth rates and mini growth spurts.
By the way, according to pediatricians, children tend to experience more growth spurts in spring than in any other season.
It is during the teenage years where significant growth spurts happen.
In boys, they normally take place between 10 to 15 years of age. By the time that they are 16 or 17 years old, most boys have already reached their full height.
In girls, on the other hand, growth spurts happen between 8 to 13 years old and stop by 15 years of age.
Certain Things Can Keep Growth Spurts From Taking Place
Experts agree that growth spurts during puberty normally last for three years or so. Teenage girls encounter them earlier than boys, and that is why many of them tend to be taller than their male peers.
Even though boys have growth spurts later than girls, theirs are usually longer and also produce more dramatic results. Because of this, when both girls and boys go past the puberty stage, most boys are taller than girls.
Just because growth spurts take place in puberty doesn’t mean that all teenage boys and girls will surely experience height increase. Various things can stop teenage boys and girls from growing properly.
For instance, while it is true that engaging in sports can help stimulate the growth plates that produce new bone tissue, too much of it can, in fact, stunt the growth of boys and girls.
This is the reason why some athletes who entered the world of sports at a very young age are short. Some examples are gymnasts because they require long and intensive practice sessions, which can be stressful to the body and thus get in the way of proper growth.
And if they incur physical injuries, particularly those that involve the bones, the ability of the growth plates to do their job may be affected.
Many other things can have an unfavorable impact on the proper growth of teens and kids. One example is the presence of medical conditions, including those that can interfere with normal hormone levels and prevent the proper absorption of nutrients.
Speaking of which, failure to supply the body with the right nutrients can also stunt growth.
Growing boys and girls need to get calcium, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus from the diet because the rapidly growing body needs all of them.
This is why the importance of having a well-balanced diet in children and teenagers, too, cannot be stressed enough if the goal is to allow them to reach their full height potential.
Once they are past the puberty stage, consuming foods with height-increasing nutrients is pretty much useless.
Some Parts of the Body Keeps Growing After Puberty
Here’s a fun fact: Even if you are already past the puberty stage and no longer experiencing growth spurts, some parts of your body keep on growing.
If you want proof, all you have to do is look around and observe older people’s appearance. With a keen eye, you will realize that they usually have bigger noses and ears than everybody else.
Even though the bones are no longer growing because the growth plates are already closed, the structures that make up the nose and ears keep on growing. They are called cartilages.
Aside from the fact that the cartilages that make up the nose and ears do not stop growing even past the puberty stage, there is another reason why these body parts are larger among the elderly. It’s none other than the effect of gravity on them.
That is why not only do they look bigger but also droopier. But that’s okay because, unlike most teens, older people are not that conscious of their appearance, although some of them choose to undergo plastic surgery.
It is important to note that even though the bones of the elderly no longer grow, they can become smaller. Such can be blamed on osteoporosis, a bone disease that is characterized by low bone mass and damage to the bone tissue.
If you are a senior and lost more than an inch of your height, you might have osteoporosis.
Just Before the Puberty Stage Completely Ends
Boys and girls undergo major growth spurts during puberty. Girls generally experience them earlier than boys, which is why most teenage girls tend to be taller than teenage boys.
However, sooner or later, most boys will be taller than girls because they tend to have longer as well as more significant growth spurts.
Other than during the teenage years, growth spurts also happen earlier in life. Just like during the puberty stage, there are also significant growth spurts in the infancy stage.
As a matter of fact, just like mentioned earlier, babies are likely to grow 10 inches in length and triple their weight by the time they are 12 months old. Smaller growth spurts also take place throughout childhood, and that’s why most kids need new clothes on a regular basis.
Is there a way to tell how tall I will be? Take the height of your father and mother in inches and add them. Add 5 inches if you are a boy, or subtract 5 inches if you are a girl. Divide by two, and the answer is how tall you will be. However, do take note that it is just an approximation.
Can I stimulate growth spurt? During puberty, there are many ways to encourage growth spurt. Some of them include having a well-balanced diet as well as getting regular exercise and engaging in sports. Getting enough sleep and keeping stress to a minimum can also help a lot.
Photo credit: ©canva.com/Creatas
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure.