Growth charts are an important tool for monitoring children's development, but they are just one of the tools used to ensure a child is growing and developing normally. While you can download, view or print out the charts listed above to record the measurements that are taken during your routine well child visits to your Pediatrician so that you can keep your own graphic record, any concerns that you have about your child's development should be discussed with your Pediatrician.
The percentile curves on these charts represent what percentage of children are of the same height or weight. The 50th percentile represents the median height or weight for each age group, so that 50% of children will be above this point and 50% will be below it. If a two year old boy weighed 24 1/2 pounds, then he would be at the 10th percentile for his weight at this age. This means that 90% of two year old boys weigh more than him, but it also means that he weighs more than 10% of children of this same age.
How your child has been growing can be more important than what percentile he is in. Children at or below the 5th percentile for weight may be normal if their growth velocity, or the rate at which they are growing, is normal. Children that are small with a normal growth velocity will have their own growth curve on the charts that runs below, but is still parallel to the 5th percentile. It is important to look at a number of different values of height and weight over time to figure out a child's rate of development.
While it can be normal for children to change percentiles between birth and eighteen months of age, after this age, children usually follow their growth curves fairly closely (within one or two growth channels). Again, discuss any concerns with your Pediatrician.
Keep in mind that many factors influence how children grow, including their genetic potential (how tall their parents and other family members are), underlying medical problems (such as congenital heart disease, Down syndrome, etc), and their overall nutritional status.
A discussion of the reasons why your child may not be as tall as the other children his age.
Weight Management Guide
An increasing number of teenagers are overweight, and if no intervention is made, 80% of them will stay overweight as adults. While most adolescents should not be put on a severely restricted diet, a combined approach of sensible nutrition and regular exercise can help to control weight gain.
Parenting advice for your childrens health, including regular doctor visits, keeping up to date on immunizations, minding their safety...
Normal Growth of Young Children
Growth and Development
use the Two Years Times Two Method, which uses simple linear regressions and doubles a child's height at age two years.
Full color and printer friendly growth charts to plot the growth of your infant, toddler, or older child. Includes graphs for height, weight and body mass index.
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