PHYSICAL MEASUREMENTS of the infant or child provide a valuable index of individual progress. Deviant measurements often serve as important evidence of disease. Unless accurate measurements comprise a part of every physical examination, the physician deprives himself of a valuable clinical tool.
The measurements themselves, however, reveal but little. To gain significance, they must be compared with suitable standards, and the normal limits of variability must be known. The measurements obtained from a normal population of infants and children should be used as a basis for reference. In the choice of the reference group, it is better to use subjects who have been reared under favorable environmental conditions than a more random sample. With improved conditions of living, children tend to be larger for their age and to grow at a more rapid rate than those whose pattern of living has been commonplace or inferior.1 By using the more select