UK-WHO Growth Charts

Growth is an important indicator of a child's health. Our charts allow health professionals to plot and measure your child's height and weight from birth to young adulthood. 

All of the growth charts are based on WHO Child Growth Standards, which describe the optimal growth for healthy, breastfed children. 

Charts for neonatal and infant close monitoring (NICM)

For plotting very preterm infants and those with significant early health problems such as weight faltering form 23 weeks gestation to 2 years corrected age.

Previously called the Low Birth Weight chart, this chart features low lines to monitor unusually short or under-weight children and the date box system for gestational correction. Children being plotted on this chart can be transferred at age two to either the 2-18 years chart or the Childhood and Puberty Close Monitoring (CPCM) chart.

Warning: It is possible to misread the head circumference scale on NICM chart in babies with very large head. Please read the warning on misreading of head circumference scale for further clarification. Read the warning on misplotting in this guide.

    

Charts for the early years (0-4 years)

For boys and girls from 0 to 4 years, as well as babies who need close monitoring - and including the charts used in the Parent Child Health Record for new parents.

This chart should be used for preschool infants and toddlers requiring plotting of growth data in primary or secondary care up to age four. It is also suitable for moderately preterm infants (32-36 weeks gestation), and includes a BMI centile lookup and an adult height predictor. 

These are the 2nd edition (January 2013) and include updates to illustrations / instructions on the interpretation of head circumference. 

    

Charts for the school age years (2-18 years)

For boys and girls from 2 to 18 years. Other charts available for children who need close monitoring (up to 20 years) and children with Down Syndrome.

This chart is mainly intended to assess the growth of school age children and young people in primary or secondary care. It includes guidance on the onset and progression of puberty, a BMI centile lookup, an adult height predictor and a mid-parental height comparator. 

The growth of most children less than four years of age should be plotted on the more detailed UK-WHO 0-4 year growth charts. However, children who have been plotted on the NICM chart up to age two years can transfer straight onto the 2-18 chart. 

    

The body mas index (BMI) centile is a reliable indicator of a healthy body weight in childhood. Where severe overweight or underweight is a concern, or where there is a need for monitoring weight over time, BMI can be calculated and plotted on this chart. Note that it is also important to plot the height and weight separately on the main 2-18 chart; there is a look-up on the standard 2-18 chart for less complex cases.

Charts for down syndrome (0-18 years)

For boys and girls Down Syndrome, 9-centile, cross-sectional.

The 2011 growth charts are jointly badged by RCPCH and the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group (DSMIG), and are representative of healthy children with Down Syndrome living in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Growth can be charted from term to 18 years.

The 0-18 years down syndrome growth charts are available to purchase via DSMIG.

Information is provided on how to assess the growth of preterm babies and how to evaluate the needs of those with apparently faltering growth. Weight-height BMI conversion charts are also included for children over the age of two.

Further information for health professionals and parents / carers

For health professionals

The UK-WHO growth charts provide a description of optimal growth for healthy, breastfed children. Anyone who measures a child, plots or interprets charts should be suitably trained, or be supervised by someone qualified to do so. 

This helpful guide provides resources for healthcare professionals about the charts and how to use them. 

For parents / carers 

Your child's growth is an important indicator of his or her health. The UK-WHO growth charts allow health professionals to plot and measure your child's growth from birth. 

Read about these in this helpful guide.

How to access charts and data

The RCPCH and PCO UK do not provide copies of the UK-WHO growth charts, only the free low-resolution downloads available on this website.

Harlow Printing Ltd can provide high-resolution electronic and paper copies of the growth charts. Please order through Harlow Printing Ltd: sales@harlowprinting.co.uk / vincehume@harlowprinting.co.uk and 0191 455 4286.

Growth chart data 

Requests for the growth chart data should be forwarded to Life Arc, on behalf of the Medical Research Council: Alex.Templar@lifearc.org

Terms and conditions of use

  • The charts must not be used for the purposes of advertising or promoting other products
  • RCPCH / WHO / Department of Health must be acknowledged as chart developers in any publication or products
  • 0-4 charts are copyright © 2009 Department of Health, which must be reproduced on all copies
  • School age charts are copyright © 2012 / 13 Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which must be reproduced on all copies
  • Users may not claim any IP rights over the materials or seek to restrict use of them by others
  • Anyone wishing to print the charts for commercial reasons should first contact RCPCH to discuss obtaining the relevant permissions
  • Any version printed for sale must adhere to the printing specification
  • Charts must be reproduced in whole without cropping or altering in any way
  • Chart images (for inclusion in articles etc.) may be cropped but should not otherwise be altered any should carry the notice 'Reproduced with permission of Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health'. 

Access to UK 1990 and UK-WHO composite data 

The UK 1990 data are copyright to the UK Medical Research Council, but will usually be made available without charge upon signing of a licence agreement. 

Please contact the Medical Research Council for further information at: michael.bond@tech.mrc.ac.uk

Contact 

Please contact growth.charts@rcpch.ac.uk for any further information.

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