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Training Module: Developing & Rating Your Measurement Technique

Common Errors
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6. Common Errors in Measuring Infants and Young Children

In a study conducted by CDC on the measurement of children under the age of five years, there were commonalties to measurement errors.

For children less than two years old, the most frequently encountered obstacle was excessive movement while the child was being weighed. For length measures, the most frequent obstacles were that no assistance was provided to the measurer and the child was moving.

The most frequently encountered errors in length measures in this group of young children were not having the child positioned correctly and the Frankfort plane was not vertical. The most frequently encountered error in weight measurements was the child wearing too many clothes.

For children 2 to 5 years of age, the most frequently encountered errors were improper posture, Frankfort plane not horizontal while being measured, and coat or shoes left on while being weighed.

too many clothes
not fully extended, Frankfort plane not vertical
infants and children weighed too heavy or measured too short

Nearly all of the measurers in the study reported that the accuracy of measurements obtained in their clinic was not known or checked.

Common errors:

to measure standing children and adolescents as too tall,
and young children as too short
Check to not fully extend young children
Check to not use the Frankfort plane
Check to make errors in reading equipment and recording data