Measuring Height Accurately
If you are like most parents, you wonder if your child literally measures up to other children his age. When your child is developing normally, he falls within the height and weight measures your pediatrician established shortly after birth. Measuring height and weight of a child, both at home and in the doctor’s office, allows you and your doctor to detect when your child’s growth begins to speed up or lag. Some physical disorders can manifest in weight loss or gain, as well as abnormal growth spurts or lags in height.
Children don’t always like to be measured because this means they need to be taken away from an activity they are enjoying. Standing against a wall? Standing on a weight scale? Boring! Because of this mindset, your child may make it difficult for you to get an accurate measurement.
Have your child take his shoes and bulky clothing off. For a girl, remove braids, hair styles or hair ornaments that would give you an inaccurate height measurement. Direct your child to stand on an uncarpeted floor and against a wall. The wall should not have a baseboard or molding.
Tell your child to stand with his feet flat and together, with his heels against the wall. His legs should be straight with his arms at his sides; his shoulders should be level. Tell your child to look straight ahead and make sure his line of sight is parallel to the floor--he should not be gazing down at the floor or up at the ceiling. Place a book on your child’s head so it forms a right angle to the wall. Your eyes should be on the same level as the book.
Take a pencil and mark the spot where the bottom of the book touches the wall. This is your child’s height. Place a metal measuring tape and measure from the floor to the mark you made on the wall to get your child’s height. Record his height to within the nearest 1/8th inch--or 0.1 centimeter.