Why you should be Measuring your Child’s Height Regularly

How often do you measure your child’s height is a paid collaborative post with More Than Height. My best friend has a wall in her kitchen where she records each other four children’s height every 3 months or so and it is so much more than just for sentimental reasons. Your child height and growth rate is more than just an indicator of how tall they might become, it is a brilliant indicator of general health and well being.

Boy and girl measure height by wall scale

I (like many other parents) opted out of the national child measurement program when the focus became about their weight, but this has also meant that there wouldn’t be a regular growth rate or height measurement for my child which means that I need to measure my children’s hight on a regular basis.

Parents measuring height of children

Why you should Measure your Child’s Hight Regularly

Parents of children in the UK will remember their baby and toddlers red book where health visitors recorded our children’s weight and height and plotted it on a graph. It wasn’t the specific height and weight they focussed on but their percentile and how it changed. This was an indication of their general health and wellbeing. Regularly measuring your child will help you be on the lookout for a growth order deficiency allowing for early intervention.

  • Children with growth disorders are more at risk of serious brain injuries such as tumours and may require radiation treatments
  • Growth hormone deficiency affects about 1 in every 3,800 babies
  • If left untreated, growth hormone deficiency can lead to serious mental health issues in later life, such as depression and anxiety

This shows why essential for parents to be actively aware of and record their child’s height and growth. You can use this child height calculator to record the details on a regular basis.

Parents measuring height of their son at home

How to accurately measure yourChild’s Height

  1. Ideally, you want to use the same place each time and an uncarpeted floor and straight wall.
  2. Stand your child with their feet (no shoes) flat, together, and against a wall. Making sure their legs are straight and their arms are at their sides.
  3. Encourage your child to look straight ahead with their heels, bottom and shoulders against the wall.
  4. Place a flat object (like a ruler or hardcover book) against the wall at a right angle and lower it until it rests gently on top of their head, keeping it at a right angle to the wall.
  5. Lightly mark the wall with a pencil at the point where the ruler or book (or other flat object) meets your child’s head.
  6. Use a metal tape measure (that doesn’t stretch) to measure the distance from the floor to the mark on the wall.

What is classed as slow growth?

Less than 3.5 cm a year after your child third birthday is classed as slow growth.

What should I do if I am concerned about my Child’s lack of growth?

If you are worried about your child’s height or lack of growth then you should contact your doctor or health visitor. Make sure you have any measurements you have taken and the timescales that you took them and also be clear about why you are concerned.

Your GP or nurse will be able to complete some measurements and investigate further if needed, potentially referring you to a specialist.