World Vision International
publication • Wednesday, October 31st 2012

Measuring and Promoting Child Growth

Facilitator’s Manual

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Here's your one-stop shop for training on how to properly weigh and measure children, as well as what to do with all those numbers!

This field-facing tool was designed to support community level growth monitoring and promotion sessions by addressing two key challenges: 1) poor technique in measurements, and 2) poor counselling on the results of the measurements.

We all want growth monitoring and promotion to work – this tool can help by providing the essential information that you need to conduct a face-to-face training to build the skills required.

What’s included?

What’ll it take?

3 days of face-to-face time with no more than 20 participants.

What skills will participants walk away with?

  • How to properly weigh and measure children.
  • How to determine a child’s exact age.
  • How to clearly record on appropriate forms.
  • How to interpret data to accurately determine child nutritional status.
  • How to counsel caregivers about nutrition.
  • How to use the data for decision making to improve child growth.

Why this tool?

Evidence-Based: thoroughly researched with the most up-to-date information.

Practical: field-tested and geared for trainings with community level workers using adult learning principles.

Participatory and Fun: games, discussions, cartoons, role plays and field visits to engage different learning styles.

All-In-One Package: everything you need is included.

 Source/Reference/and quicklink
Cogill, Bruce. Anthropometric Indicators Measurement Guide. Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, D.C., 2003.

Learning Objectives of Measuring and Promoting Child Growth

Lesson 1 Welcome and Introduction

  1. To train participants to weigh and measure children accurately; and to calculate and record growth accurately.
  2. To train participants to interpret child nutritional status and community nutritional status accurately.
  3. To increase participants’ understanding of the purpose and importance of counselling caregivers and to build skills for appropriate counselling.

Lesson 2 What Is Anthropometry?

  1. To understand anthropometrics and related terms.
  2. To know key reasons for focusing on children under 5.
  3. To learn the type of information required for calculating child nutritional status.
  4. To understand the importance of accurate measuring and accurate recording of data.
  5. To increase understanding of the ways that the information (also called data) we collect can be used.
  6. To know points in a project life when anthropometric information is useful.

Lesson 3 Information about Sex and Age of Children Under 5

  1. Identify key information required to calculate child nutritional status.
  2. Learn the tools to determine a child’s date of birth and age in months accurately
  3. Develop skills in writing standard forms of numbers that are easy to read.

Lesson 4 Hanging Scales

  1. To demonstrate proper procedures for weighing children under 5 using hanging scales.
  2. To explain ‘calibration’ and ‘zeroing’ in simple terms so participants will understand why they are important.

Lesson 5 Standing Scales

To demonstrate proper procedures for using standing scales to weigh children under 5.

Lesson 6 Measuring Length and Height

  1. To explain and demonstrate the difference between length and height measurements.
  2. To introduce the skills required for accurately measuring the length and height of children.

Lesson 7 Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC)

  1. To define MUAC.
  2. To demonstrate how to take MUAC measurements.
  3. To explain how the information is used for programming.

Lesson 8 Standardisation Exercise

  1. To build confidence, consistency and accuracy in measuring children.
  2. To identify participants who can measure children accurately and consistently.

Lesson 9 Improving Individual Child Growth

To determine how well children are growing as measured by weight and age on a Road to Health card.

Lesson 10 Counselling

To understand Road to Health cards to communicate effectively with mothers about improving child growth when necessary.

Lesson 11 Population Nutritional Status

To learn how to use data in order to assess the nutritional status of a population.