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An individual is defined as having short stature if they are more than two standard deviations below the mean height of the population.
Growth velocity is important, as opposed to an isolated height, since it gives a way of interpreting the dynamics of the situation.
Presentation of these children can be by the parents noticing the shortness of their child, particularly when they start school, or it may be discovered during routine checking of height and weight by general practitioners or other health care workers. This has the advantage of being accurate and reproducible, and gives a rapid assessment of the growth velocity.