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Weight For Age



Once a baby is delivered, the immediate concern for both doctor and parents alike is whether the newborn is a normal baby. Its weight for age pointer should conform to accepted medical standards. In the first three years of a baby’s growth, the general health of a baby goes hand in hand with the weight for age parameters. A newborn’s weight and height are recorded by both family and paediatrician. The weight for height and age ratio plays a vital role in gauging a baby’s growth pattern.
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The average weight for age statistics for normal children is arrived at after observing the weights and heights of thousands of children. A standardised weight age chart to measure a child’s physical growth is available in all health centers. Depending on the family’s genetic makeup, medical history, diet and lifestyle, the weight and height ratio vary from child to child. According to clinical data provided by the National Central for Health, results of research for proper weight for height and weight conducted on newborns fall into the following parameters: gender of the baby, initial 3 years, and 3 to 18 years of age. The height and weight for age ratio for small and premature babies is maintained separately.

The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is also to be taken into account when studying a baby’s growth. It is the ratio between the food intake and how much of this energy (or calories) is used up by the baby when at rest or when active. Another factor to be considered is the body mass index or BMI. This is arrived at by using a BMI or body-age weight chart depending on the child’s age and gender. The more the BMI as compared to the child’s height, the more is the probability of obesity in later life, which might lead to health problems. A BMI calculator will help determine this index.

Ethnicity and whether the baby is breast fed or bottle fed are also important factors in determining a baby’s weight age quotient. There is no such thing as an ideal weight for a particular age. Nor should a parent worry about an ideal height concept. Parents need not fret about a child not showing progress according to the books. As long as a child is eating healthy and doesn’t fall ill too often, all is well.
Submitted on January 16, 2014
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