Growth chart for your kids: Why It’s Important

Keeping a chart to monitor your child’s growth is important to keep track of his growth compared to the growth curve of children like him. Your family doctor or pediatrician will keep these charts in his or her records, but lately, aided by the many different charts available online, many moms have been keeping track on charts of their own.

Growth charts cram a lot of information into a small amount of space so it can be confusing to read and understand these charts. Though every child, and family for that matter, is different, a growth chart documents your child’s individual growth and shows whether or not he’s growing at an appropriate rate compared to his previous growth patterns. Charts record height, weight, and head circumference. These charts can help you discover if there’s any health problem with your child at an early age.

When using a growth chart, you’ll use different ones depending on your child’s age and which growth patterns you’re monitoring. There are different charts for height, weight, and body mass index. You’ll find the correct chart by finding one that fits your child’s current age.

On all charts, you’ll start by finding your child’s age at the bottom of the chart and drawing a straight, vertical line up the chart. Next, you’ll find his weight on the right side of the chart and draw a straight, horizontal line. Find the point at which your two lines intersect and figure out which curve that spot is closest to. Then follow that curve up to the right to discover your child’s percentile. If your child is in the 65th percentile that means 65% of children his age are smaller than he is and 35% are bigger than he. When using your own growth charts, to avoid having to print out new ones, you may want to visualize your lines or use a pencil to make light marks that you can later erase.

Monitoring your child’s growth over time is the main focus on a growth chart so you don’t need to get too caught up with any individual number. You also don’t need to worry much about which percentile he’s in but rather look at how he’s grown his whole life to determine whether or not he’s growing at a normal, healthy rate. If he’s always been in the 10th percentile for height and suddenly jumps or drops percentiles, then you may want to pay a visit to your doctor.

There are several options for growth charts online, and with the many other services you can find online for your children’s health like tips on keeping him safe from seasonal diseases, a short term health insurance quote, and symptom checkers when he’s sick, you’ll be able to monitor his health from home pretty easily.

However, no amount of online help can stand in for your family doctor so taking your child in for regular check ups and physical examinations will keep him healthy and keep you best-informed of any health concerns you need to monitor.

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