What is the value of measuring height and head circumference?

These are also important measurements of growth. Height is the best method of measuring linear growth (stature) as height reflects growth over a longer period than does weight. Measuring height is therefore important in older children.

Head circumference can be used to assess brain growth in children under 2 years. During this period brain growth is fast and, therefore, head circumference increases rapidly. A small head (microcephaly) suggests a small brain, while a large head suggests hydrocephaly. Head circumference is less accurate in assessing brain growth over 2 years of age.

Therefore, measuring head circumference is most useful in young children, and height in older children.

If a child’s weight gain is normal, the height and head circumference is usually also normal. However, it is particularly important to measure height and head circumference in children who are not gaining weight normally.

Height is an important measure of growth, especially in older children.

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