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  Growth Monitering in Children

Growth is the regular increase in size or weight of any living thing. Regular continuous growth is an essence of healthy life. Growth is the continuous process going on every month. Optimum child growth occurs only with adequate food, proper nutrients, absence of illness.

Growth in children: In children growth is most rapid at the younger ages. While the child is in mother’s womb, child grows many times from a tiny egg to a baby. Weighing about 3 to 3.5 kgs at birth. During the first year of life baby grows more rapidly called infancy. Each month the healthy baby gains 600 to 700 Gms that is during first 6 months. From 7 months to 1 year about 300 to 400 Gms weight gain is seen. After the first year the healthy child gains 150 to 200 Gms.

When growth slows or stops we say growth falters. This is a sign that something wrong with the child. We should regularly monitor the growth to see if child is growing properly or not.

Growth monitoring: Regular weighing of child, recording that weight on a graph called growth charts.  It is done each time and the points are joined by a line this is called growth curve. If the child is growing and there is a regular weight gain the line will move in an upward direction. When growth falters the line in the graph grows in downward direction. And if weight doesn’t increase as per the expectations the line on the graph doesn’t grow upwards but stay flat.

Children grow rapidly birth to three years particularly the first year. In this age they are vulnerable to diseases and inadequate nutrition which effect normal growth pattern. It is essential to monitor in this age, all the children birth 3 years should be weighed every month. Children between 3 to 6 years once in 3 months.

Growth charts: Plotting your Childs weight and height at different ages on the graph are growth charts. The percentile curves on the growth charts represent what percentages of children are of the same height and weight. For example the 50th percentile represents the median height or weight of each group, 50% of children will be above this point and 50% below it.

Percentiles: 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th represents the curved lines on the growth chart. Percentiles show how a child is growing in comparison to other children.

            Classification    Weight for length

            Underweight    Below 5th percentile

             Overweight     Below 85th percentile and above 95th percentile

                    Obese    Above 95th percentile



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