In April 2006 the World Health Organisation published a new growth In April 2006 the World Health Organization published a new growth standard for children aged under 5 years. They were based on the growth patterns of healthy infants in United States, Norway, Oman, Brazil, India , Ghana, born at full term whose mothers were non-smoking , relatively affluent whose pregnancy was healthy. The results for each country were very consistent with the other countries..
The United Kingdom was one of the first developed coun¬tries to adopt it, and the Department of Health commis¬sioned the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to design new growth charts and develop new evidence based instructions and supporting educational materials. These charts (known as the UK-WHO growth charts) are now in use for monitoring the growth of children aged under 4 years.
An article by Wright and colleagues discusses the use of these very user friendly charts which replace the previous charts. They give clear instructions on gestational corrections, and include a new chart for infants born before 3 weeks gestation.
The charts also contain a tool to determine body mass index from weight and height and an aid fo predicting adult height.
These charts for children aged 0-4 can be downloaded from the Royal College of Paediatics and Child Health web site.
Wright et al Using the UK-WHO growth charts. BMJ vol 340 pp647-650
- Martin Eastwood