Maternal and Child Health Bureau HomeModule IntroTable of ContentsGlossary
Training Module: Accurately Weighing and Measuring: Equipment

Critical components
Choose a sectionSection 1Section 2Section 3Section 4Section 5Section 6Section 7Section 8

1. Critical Components

The two most critical components of measuring are 1) accuracy and 2) reliability.

Accuracy is defined as the degree to which a measurement of an individual corresponds to his or her actual weight or stature.

Reliability is defined as the degree to which successive measurements of the same child agree within specified limits.

Both accuracy and reliability are to some degree a function of the quality of the equipment used for the measurements. Measurers are frequently expected to perform accurate and reliable measures on equipment which is not designed for performing accurate measurements. On the other hand, if appropriate equipment is available, it is often not properly maintained or is improperly used.

Often equipment is deemed to be expensive and is not purchased, or inferior or improvised equipment is used in the clinic. Quality, easily calibrated and well maintained equipment is a good investment and will provide years of accurate and reliable service. Because quality equipment is durable, the seemingly high initial investment costs for quality equipment can be amortized over 20 or more years of service.

Back Next