Many parents are noticing discrepancies between their recent growth charts and ones they were give prior to 2011. We’re writing today to shed some light on these strange new growth charts. Back in September of 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began recommending the use of World Health Organization (WHO) growth charts for children under 2 years of age. Previously, we used the CDC growth charts for all children regardless of age. We continue to use CDC growth charts for children over 2.
We didn’t really think too much about this new recommendation at that time, because our Electronic Health Record (EHR) eClinicalWorks didn’t support this new recommendation yet. When the software update came out in early 2011, we excitedly turned on the new option for WHO growth charts for children under 2 to comply with the new recommendation. Turns out we probably should have though that through a little more carefully.
You see, almost every child we’ve seen for a wellness visit in the last 5 years has received a printed growth chart as part of that visit. Now when they compare recent growth charts to ones they got before 2011, they’re noticing some differences, especially if their child is under age 2. Furthermore, children who just turned two are noticing they’re not doing quite as well as they were at recent visits in 2011 under age two.
This can be very frustrating to a parent who thought they were in the 5th percentile who finds they are now in the 20th percentile. It can be even more frustrating if said parent goes from the 5th percentile to the 20th percentile, then back to the 5th percentile when they turn age two. It even confuses us!
We’re sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this might have caused you and your family. We’d like to invite any parents affected by growth chart strangeness to drop by the office for a new growth chart printout based on the new guidelines, and a more in depth explanation of this issue. Finally, we want to know how you feel about these new guidelines. Please feel free to leave us a comment.