Growth And Puberty
Accurate measurement of growth is a vital part of the assessment of children. In order to interpret a child's growth, measurements must be plotted on a growth chart. If there is concern about growth, the rate of growth must be assessed by measuring the child on two occasions at least 4–6 months apart.
Examples of growth charts
• Note fall-off in weight at time of weaning when wheat was introduced
• The fall-off in length follows later
Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR)
• Low birthweight baby
• Many IUGR babies show catch-up but this baby clearly has not, and may have reduced growth potential
• The IUGR probably started early in pregnancy because head circumference and length are also affected
Puberty is evaluated by clinical examination of the genitalia, breasts and secondary sexual characteristics. The scale used is known as Tanner staging.