Growth and Development

Children are monitored for physical, motor, cognitive, and psychosocial development through clinical recognition of timely milestones during routine well-child visits. As a newborn continues to progress to infant, child, and adolescent stages, different variables are monitored to assess growth compared to the general population of similar age and size. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Growth Charts (Fig. 3-1) are used to plot head circumference, weight, length or stature, and body mass index for a graphical representation of a child's growth compared to the general pediatric population.6 These tools assess whether a child is meeting the appropriate physical growth milestones, thereby allowing identification of nutritional issues such as poor weight and height gain (e.g., failure to thrive).

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