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April 15, 2014

Monitoring health with growth charts

Growth charts are handy instruments used by pediatricians to evaluate whether a child is growing and gaining weight at a suitable pace. They are also useful indicators of a child’s overall health and help doctors identify early any nutritional problems or health issues.

Growth patterns: All children are different!

Kids grow at their own rate. No need to panic if your baby seems smaller than the average or if he or she appears to be growing at a slower pace. If your child’s growth is following the curve, without any sudden regressions or weight loss, there is absolutely no cause for concern. If at any time you are worried about your little one’s health or development, though, just talk to your pediatrician.

Revised growth charts issued by the WHO

In February 2010, four major professional health associations, including the Canadian Paediatric Society, recommended the adoption of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) growth charts in Canada to adequately monitor children’s development. The new charts have replaced those used for many years, which were established by the American Centers for Disease and Prevention.

Key features of the WHO charts:

  • The standards were developed from a sample of healthy, well-nourished children and babies breastfed for at least 4 to 6 months.
  • They can be used for multi-ethnic groups in Canada since the data comes from six different countries.
  • They place special emphasis on the body-mass-index-for-age indicator

Growth Chart - Boys

Birth to 24 months: Length for Age - Weight for Age
Birth to 24 months: Head Circumference - Weight for Length
2 to 19 years: BMI
  BMI Table for Children 2-19 years: Metric
  BMI Table for Children 2-19 years: Imperial
2 to 19 years: Height for Age - Weight for Age

Growth Chart - Girls

Birth to 24 months: Length for Age - Weight for Age
Birth to 24 months: Head Circumference - Weight for Length
2 to 19 years: BMI
  BMI Table for Children 2-19 years: Metric
  BMI Table for Children 2-19 years: Imperial
2 to 19 years: Height for Age - Weight for Age

Important! Preterm babies, low birth weight infants and children with intellectual, genetic or developmental disorders may have different growth patterns from the average. Consult your pediatrician to have your child’s specific growth and development monitored.

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Worried about your child’s health? Talk to your pharmacist for expert advice!

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The uniprix.com Website deals with health-related topics. The information presented has been validated by experts and is accurate at the time of posting. In no way does it replace the opinion of a health care professional. Uniprix Inc. and its affiliated pharmacists accept no liability whatsoever in connection with the information provided on this Website.