Routine and accurate growth monitoring is essential for assessing health and nutritional status of infants and children. Growth charts are an important tool for health care providers to understand patterns of growth and identify potential nutrition concerns and/or growth problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) released growth charts for term infants and children that reflect optimal growth. Providers in Nova Scotia are encouraged to use the WHO Growth Charts adapted for Canada for monitoring infant and child growth. These charts are recommended by Health Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, Community Health Nurses, and Dietitians of Canada; other growth charts such as the CDC charts are no longer supported.
The charts may be downloaded (free) from the Dietitians of Canada website: http://www.dietitians.ca/secondary-pages/public/who-growth-charts.aspx.
CME-Accredited, self-directed learning modules are also available (free): http://www.dietitians.ca/Knowledge-Center/Live-Events/Online-Courses/WHO-Growth-Chart-Training.aspx.
For more information, please refer to the article written by Tina Swinamer, Co-ordinator Early Childhood Nutrition, Department of Health and Wellness, Public Health, in both the RCP newsletter (Fall/Winter 2012-13) and doctorsNS magazine (November 2012 issue).