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Children's Growth Chart - Topic Overview

A growth chart is a graph used to track a child's growth and development over time. At each of your child's well-child visits, the doctor will measure:

  • Length (height). A baby's length is measured while lying down, from the top of the head to the bottom of the foot. Older children are measured standing up with heels against a wall.
  • Weight.
  • Head circumference (for babies). This is the measurement around the largest part of your baby's head.

These measurements are plotted on a graph according to your child's age and sex.

Did You Know?

Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free children’s preventive care services, including checkups, vaccinations and screening tests. Learn more.

Health Insurance Center

Growth charts show the consistency of your child's pattern of growth over time. It is important to remember that your child is likely to have growth spurts as well as periods of slow growth, even as a baby. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. For more information about growth charts, go to the website www.cdc.gov/growthcharts.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 06, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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