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Training Module: Accurately Weighing and Measuring: Equipment

Scales for weighing children and adolescents
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3. Scales for Weighing Children and Adolescents

An accurate scale for weighing children and adolescents can be either beam balance or electronic. It is desirable that the scale weigh in 100 gram or 1/4 pound increments. Safety and accuracy dictate that the scale have a large enough platform for support for the individual being weighed.

The scale should have a function so that it can be ‘zeroed’. Standard weights should be available to calibrate the scale. Beam balance scales should have ‘screw type’ provision for immobilizing the zeroing weight. Length devices attached to scales are notably inaccurate because they do not have a stable platform.

Illustration of scales

Illustration © Nardella, M, Campo, L, Ogata, B, eds. Nutrition Interventions for Children with Special Health Care Needs, Olympia, WA, State Department of Health, 2001.

  Check Quality beam balance or electronic
  Check Weighs in 0.1 kg (100 gm) or 1/4 lb increments
  Check Stable weighing platform
  Check Can be easily ‘zeroed’
Check Can be calibrated
Cross No stature device attached

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