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Growth and development charts

The World Health Organization (WHO) developed revised charts in 2009 based on Child Growth Standards which describe the optimal (rather than average) growth of healthy, breastfed children. The new charts can be used for all ethnic groups as data shows that healthy infants worldwide have very similar growth patterns. Previous UK growth charts were based on data from studies on breastfed and formula-fed children so do not reflect normal weight fluctuations of breastfed infants in the first few weeks.

The new charts are used by health professionals and combine UK90 and WHO data with clear instructions on how to measure, plot and interpret the chart. They include an adult height predictor, a body mass index (BMI) conversion chart, and guidance on gestational age correction. Charts for 0-4 years are to be used for all new births and new referrals in Scotland from January 2010. The existing UK90 Growth Charts can continue to be used for children born before this date and for children over four years.

There is a suite of educational and training materials and information for parents, carers and health professionals to support the new charts. These materials including PowerPoint slides, video clips, tutors’ notes and plotting exercises – all available for downloading.