Track children’s growth

Track children’s growth

Measure weight and height regularly

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Regularly measure the growth of children under 5. Record weight, height and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) in the Road to Health booklet. Use the growth curves to:

  • assess growth
  • identify abnormal growth
  • track progress after an intervention

Weigh the child (in kilograms) at every clinic visit. Plot the weight and age on a weight-for-age growth chart to identify children who are underweight or whose growth is falling off so you can intervene early.

Measure the child’s length or standing height (in centimetres) every six months. Then plot the weight-for-length/height on the growth chart.

Measure the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC). This is easy to measure and is a quick way to identify children with acute malnutrition.

Plot the measurements on growth charts and assess growth.

  • Normal: measurements between the +2 and -2 lines (called the z lines or standard deviations).
  • Abnormal: measurements between the -2 and -3 lines or between the +2 and +3 lines.
  • Severely abnormal: measurements above the +3 line or below the -3 line.

Carefully assess every child with an abnormal measurement to identify the cause and plan an intervention.

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