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Tips for Measuring Skinfolds of Children

  • Prior to body composition testing, inform the parents so they will understand the purpose and procedures of this assessment.
  • Instruct students regarding concepts and procedures for measuring body composition.
  • Maintain records of these measures over time to assess the interaction effects of growth, maturation, diet, and physical activity on body composition changes.
  • Measure only standardized sites and follow established procedures.
  • If you feel it is necessary, ask a teacher, nurse, or the child's parent to be present during body composition testing.
  • Ensure confidentiality by sharing test results only with the child and the parents.
  • Provide personal feedback and "group" interpretations of the results.
  • Do not use body composition test results for grading purposes.
  • Be sure to make the body composition assessment a positive experience for each child. Do no label, criticize, or ridicule children during any phase of this assessment.


Applied Body Composition Assessment, Second Edition, Heyward & Wagner, 2004.