Equipment Checklists

Accurate growth assessment depends on precise measurements of growth parameters using the proper equipment.

Birth to two years

Infant scale

  • Use a levelled pan scale.
  • Either high quality electronic digital or beam balance.
  • Portable or 'fixed' options are suitable.
  • Scale should weigh up to 20 kg, in 0.01 kg (10 gm) increments.
  • Tray needs to be large enough to support children up to two years of age.
  • Motion detector and stabilizer.
  • No length or stature device should be attached because they do not have a stable platform.
  • Clean the scales regularly.

Service the scale (including calibration) according to manufacturers' guidelines. This is usually annually or more frequently if the scales are moved regularly; or there are concerns about accuracy.

A scale for weighing infants should have a large enough tray to support the infant and weigh up to 20 kg.

Infant length-board (Infantometer)

  • Length is measured in the recumbent position using an infantometer (infant length board) designed for the purpose.
  • The board should have a firm, flat horizontal surface with a measuring tape in 1 mm (0.1 cm) increments.
  • The tape or measurements should be fixed, and easily read.
  • The device has a fixed head-board at right angle to the tape.
  • And a smoothly-moving foot-board perpendicular to the tape.

Length board should be sturdy, easily cleaned and designed for the purpose of measuring infant length.

Head circumference tape

  • Head circumference should be measured using a flexible, non-stretchable measuring tape or disposable paper tape.
  • ensure the tape is clean after each use.
  • replace the plastic tape at least yearly, or more often if needed.
  • 0.5 - 1.0 cm width and 0.1 cm increments.

Head circumference tape, infantometer and infant scale 

Over two years

Beam balance or electronic scale

  • Scales for weighing children can be either high quality beam balance with movable weights, or high quality electronic.
  • Weighs in 0.1 kg (100 gm) increments and can be 'locked' in.
  • The scale can be easily 'zeroed'.
  • Weight is read at 'eye level' of measurer.
  • Stable weighing platform which is large enough to support the child.
  • No length or stature device should be attached because they do not have a stable platform.

Service the scale (including calibration) according to manufacturers' guidelines. This is usually annually, or more frequently if the scales are moved regularly, or there are concerns about accuracy.

A suitable scale is a good quality electronic or beam balance scale that can be easily calibrated.

Height (stature) stadiometer

  • Height is measured in the standing position using a stadiometer (height measurer) or a correctly installed 'pull down' measure which are designed for the purpose.
  • A stadiometer consists of a vertical board with an attached metric ruler with an easily moveable horizontal headboard that can be brought into contact with the most superior part of the head; ideally spring loaded.
  • The equipment has a wide and stable platform, or firm uncarpeted floor as the base.
  • Equipment should be accurately and firmly mounted on a wall.
  • Ensure that fixed position devices have been installed correctly, and re-check after moving or re-location.
  • Should have an easy to read, stable tape or digital readout in 0.1 cm increments.

Stadiometers should be stable, calibrated and dedicated to the purpose.

Height stadiometer, beam balance or electronic scale