There are two different ways of evaluating height and length. Total body length is the distance between the top of the head and the sole of the foot when the individual is in a recumbent position (lying down) with the foot dorsiflexed (Fig. 4.1). Total standing height is the distance from the highest point of the head to the sole of the foot in the midsagittal plane with the individual standing in an upright position (Fig. 4.5). The head should be held erect with the eyes looking straight forward, so that the lower margin of the bony orbit and upper margin of the external auditory canal opening are in the same horizontal plane (Frankfort plane).
The charts for standard measurement of length or height are ordered in three age groups:
1. length by gestational age at birth (Figs. 4.2-4.4) including twins;
2. birth-4 years (infants are measured in a recumbent position) (Figs. 4.7, 4.9, 4.11,4.13);
3. 2-18 years (children are measured standing upright) (Figs. 4.8, 4.10, 4.12,4.14).
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