Objective. A variety of methods are used to assess the length of infants at hospital admission. A tape-measure technique is commonly used; however, this measure is potentially inaccurate. We aimed to assess accuracy of tape measurement of infant lengths by comparison with the more accurate length-board technique.

Methods. During a 1-year period, 25 infants who were younger than 36 months were seen for a nutrition consultation. The length obtained at admission was compared with that obtained with a length-board by a trained dietitian.

Results. Overall, the lengths varied enough both positively and negatively that no overall statistical difference was seen; however, the average difference between the tape measure and the length-board was 2.23 cm. The change in length resulted in a change in the weight-for-length percentile range in 13 of 25 patients.

Conclusion. The more accurate length-board measurement should be applied at the time of admission of an infant.

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