Failure to thrive is a common problem in infancy and childhood. It is most often multifactorial in origin. Inadequate nutrition and disturbed social interactions contribute to poor weight gain, delayed development, and abnormal behavior. The syndrome develops in a significant number of children as a consequence of child neglect. This clinical report is intended to focus the pediatrician on the consideration, evaluation, and management of failure to thrive when child neglect may be present. Child protective services agencies should be notified when the evaluation leads to a suspicion of abuse or neglect.
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