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Paediatr Child Health. 2005 Sep;10(7):391-4.

Documentation of growth parameters and body mass index in a paediatric hospital.

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Departments of Pediatrics and.



New recommendations suggest that the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts and body mass index (BMI) for age be used for Canadian children. Little information is available on how often growth parameters are documented in hospital settings.


To determine the frequency of documentation of growth parameters in the medical records of a tertiary care paediatric hospital.


A prospective, 14-day audit of 491 charts of children seen in the emergency department (ED) or admitted to a ward was performed to determine the frequency of documentation of height/length, weight, head circumference, BMI or weight for height, and presence of growth charts. Similar data were sought from the most recent clinic visit for all ward charts.


Growth parameters, aside from weight, were infrequently documented in the medical record. Height/length was documented in no ED charts and in 42% of ward charts. BMI or weight for height were almost never found, and growth charts were present in only 23% of ward charts, one clinic chart and one ED chart.


Rates of documentation of growth parameters in the teaching hospital setting were unacceptably low. Implementation of the use of the 2000 CDC growth charts will require not only education regarding BMI but also steps to encourage more regular measurement of height and use of shared growth charts in all areas of the hospital. A simple conceptualization framework for health care providers to use as a counselling tool is presented.


Audit; Body mass index; Green zone; Growth; Growth chart

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