Children growth and development is one of the most targeted issues in World Health Organization, especially in the developing and underdeveloped countries.
Growth and Development
It is very important to know the difference between the growth and development of a child. These two terms may sound quite similar but there is a technical difference and are addressed separately in pediatrics.
Growth means the physical increase in height, weight, and other parameters. Basically, growth is the physical increase in the size of the body. On a cellular level, it is increasing in the number and size of the cells resulting in increased growth.
We can measure growth in terms of height and weight and assess the nutritional and physical status of the child or a person generally.
Development is a more vast term. It includes the physical, mental and psychological development of the baby. A baby who grasps objects and starts speaking and suffers stranger anxiety along with an increase in size and weight comes under the definition of development.
Development is a bigger entity and is both qualitative and quantitative.
Importance of Growth chart
The growth chart is our main topic of discussion is very important in assessing the growth of the baby. They are an essential part of the history taking and examination in the field of pediatrics. A child must have achieved certain height, weight, head circumference at a certain age and how a child is doing in these measurements is the importance of growth chart.
- By putting the baby’s growth parameters in a table and drawing a graph, we come to know the normal performance of the baby.
- This helps in diagnosing many growths and nutritional deficiencies, for example, the beriberi, kwashiorkor and many others.
- After the diagnosis is made, we can put the baby on certain necessary nutrition and therapy and use these growth charts as a follow-up and trackers to know if the child is responding to the treatment.
Simple growth chart
This growth chart is a very simple one and you don’t have to understand the percentiles of your baby in each growth parameter. This chart is very easily used by any mother and she can bring it to her child’s pediatrician to tell you the normal growth of her baby.
You simply need to weight and measure the height of your baby from his birth till his next visit to the doctor and take the chart along. You can also keep this as a personal record and check which percentile your baby falls in.
The growth charts where we know the percentiles are easily available on the internet and are different for girls and boys of different age groups.
Just write the name of your baby and mention his date of birth and gender.
Mention the date every time you measure the height and weight of the baby and his age at that time.
You can take the measurements every month or every three months according to your wish and keep this record as a reference to the previous one.