Growth measurement and assessment are an essential part of pediatric care. Growth patterns in children vary depending on factors such as genetics, nutrition and overall health. Your doctor will follow these growth patterns in your child to ensure that your child is healthy and growing within normal parameters.
Your child’s growth is measured against defined standards of normal growth and any abnormal growth patterns are closely monitored to identify an underlying condition. Your doctor will identify risk factors for conditions such as obesity, failure to thrive or other illnesses that affect growth. Growth charts are used to help your doctor make assessments. The measurements are carefully obtained with standard, well-tested equipment and precautions taken to minimize errors.
The essential measurements for infants and toddlers include body length, weight, head circumference, and the ratio of weight to length. Head circumference helps your doctor assess brain growth and identify problems such as fluid accumulation. For children over the age of 3, height, weight and body mass index are critical. Body mass index helps measure whether your child is over or underweight.
Besides this your doctor will also examine your child for other growth indicators such as body proportion, skeletal maturity and dental development.