Tracking children's growth
The way children grow says a lot about their health. Growing too fast or slowly can indicate that there may be a health problem. For this reason, health professionals recommend that growth of infants, children and teens should be tracked over time by a doctor, nurse or dietitian.
Tracking growth includes measuring head circumference (for infants and toddlers), as well as measuring weight and height at regular intervals. It also includes comparing these measures with standard growth charts. These measures help to show if a child is growing well or if there may be a problem.
Dietitians of Canada worked with other health professional groups of family doctors, paediatricians and community health nurses to develop 12 recommendations about proper growth monitoring in infants, children and teens. These recommendations include:
Using the growth charts developed by the World Health Organization and adapted for Canada for all infants, children and teens.
Growth monitoring as a routine part of health care for all Canadian infants, children and teens.
DC led the group of health professionals in developing the collaborative statement Promoting Optimal Monitoring of Child Growth in Canada: Using the new WHO Growth Charts and disseminated it widely to members of these professional groups and the media. Our media release had a potential reach of 400 million.
We presented a national webcast for dietitians and other health professionals to facilitate the implementation of the growth charts with Canadian health practitioners.
The World Health Organization and the United Kingdom are using the WHO Growth Charts adapted for Canada as an exemplary model.
We developed additional tools and resources for use by parents and health professionals to explain how to use the new growth charts. This includes a self-learning web-based training program for primary care and public health professionals.
Watch a video on how to accurately weigh and measure infants and children.
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