How to determine what is the appropriate weight and height for a child by their age

Tips for parents / Sanitas Medical Center

 How to determine what is the appropriate weight and height for a child by their age

One of the most common questions some parents ask themselves is "How much should my child measure and weigh?" This question seems simple, but it really isn't always easy to answer.

There is a measure called the "Growth Curve". This measurement is used to compare the weight, height, and size of some extremities of the body of a child against others of the same age. Not all children grow and develop at the same pace. During puberty, the hormones can cause many changes in the body. For example, in the case of boys, the size of their testicles increases, and in the case of girls, they develop their breasts.

An average teenager can grow up to 10 inches during puberty before reaching adult height. Some children experience their development from the age of eight, while others may begin to experience it from the age of 14. These changes continue for several years, and it can happen that two children of the same age and the same sex differ considerably in their body weight.

In order to really understand what the average height and weight a child should be according to their age, it is very important to know what their body mass index or BMI is.

What is body mass index?

The Body Mass Index (or BMI) is a number that is calculated based on the weight and height of a person. It is a formula used to calculate how much body fat a person has.

The amount of body mass and the speed with which boys and girls grow is different. For that reason it is necessary to use different BMI tables for each sex. Each BMI table is divided into a statistical measure used to compare data of children of the same age and same sex.

In children, BMI is used to detect:

  • obesity
  • overweight
  • healthy weight
  • or low weight

By using BMI as a screening tool, it is possible to identify potential weight problems in children, which could also lead to health issues.

The growth curve was developed from information obtained by measuring and weighing many children. The numbers in the table obtained from the BMI and the growth curve are those that establish the average “normal” weight and height for each age and sex.

These measurements are compared to the standard range for children of the same sex and age, and are used as your child grows to find out what the average height and weight your child should be for their age.

If your child's pediatrician is concerned about your child's weight, height, or BMI, he will likely ask you questions about their health, physical activity level, eating habits and nutrition, as well as their family medical history. This way, the doctor can analyze all the information to determine whether or not your child has a weight-related problem or a growth problem.