Measurement of head circumference is important in infants as it allows detection of abnormalities of head growth, which are usually due to non-nutritional factors.
For more information, refer to
Maternal and Child Health Service: Practice Guidelines 2009 (pdf - 791.74kb)
- 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.
Sit the child on the carer's lap facing you. Very young infants may be measured lying down.
- Place the tape around the head at points just above the eyebrows, above the ears and around the occipital prominence at the back of the head.
- Pull the tape gently to compress the hair.
- Record head circumference to the nearest 0.1 cm.
- Plot on the WHO Head circumference growth chart.