Growth Patterns and Monitoring in Children

The commonest question in a parents mind is –“Is my child growing well?” - A growth chart plotted at regular intervals is the simplest way to monitor the child’s growth i.e.for a parent to know whether their child is growing well or there is some problem.

From birth to 3 years of age, the baby’s weight, length and head circumference needs to be measured and entered in the child’s health card at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks, 6 months, 9 months, 15 months, 18 months. Thereafter, every six months, between the age of 3 years to 6 years the weight and height should be measured every 6 monthly. Beyond 6 years the BMI needs to be calculated every year. The calculation of BMI can be done by using the following formula:

BMI= Weight in kg/(Height in meters)²

Ideally  the  same  weight  and  height  scale  should  be used  for  these  measurements.  Head circumference should be measured by a trained health care worker.

These  measurements  are  to  be  plotted  on  a  growth  chart  to  observe  the  pattern  ofgrowth  and compare with the normal range of growth for same age and sex.These are also known as Road to Health charts.

Please  refer  to  the  icon  for  these  growth  charts.  There  are  a  number  of  curvy  lines  in  each  of these charts. These are reference lines for range of growth for children of our country. These are known as standard growth curves

The  area  between  the  lines -2  and  +2  (or  between  line  of  3  and  97  in  few  charts)  is  the  normal range for children in our country.If the child’s measurement falls in this area then the child is growing in the normal range for that age and sex, also known as the Road to Health. Any reading beyond the two lines is abnormal and needs to be discussed with the doctor.

The curve (i.e. trend) with multiple readings gives us a much better picture about the child’s growth. Children who are growing normally follow a growth curve parallel to one of the standard growth curves. Weight loss or failure to gain weight can be identified by observing the child’s growth curve over time. When weight “falters” or the growth curve “flattens” and is no longer parallel to the chart line, this indicates the need for consulting a Pediatrician.

Refer and plot the child’s weight in the charts (annexed) and monitor your child’s growth.

Milestone Check Of Your Baby

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