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Last Updated: Tuesday March 03 2009 15:51 GMT

Scanning scheme will size up kids

Adam's full report

A hi-tech scheme using a special 3D scanner to make sure all your clothes fit properly has started in Manchester.

Over the past few years there have been lots of news stories about the way children's body sizes are changing, but more info is needed on the details.

At the moment most shops use children's measurements taken back in 1990 to help them make their clothes the right size.

So now a 3D scanner is being used to measure thousands of children to find out what their average size.

Around 250 children have been measured, and organisers are planning to scan as many as 6,000 across the UK.

The things the team are scanning for
These are some of the measurements the Shape GB team are scanning for
Once the results of the survey are known it should make it easier for shops to make clothes to fit children.

A survey of adult sizes carried out by the same company in 2001 found that people were bigger on average than the shops had thought.

Some of the children who have already been scanned have spoken to Newsround about it.

Deena, 10, who is very small for her age said: "It's a bit weird getting sizes that are smaller.

"Once my mum picked out a T-shirt for me but it was a bit big so we had to get one aged 6-7. It felt alright for my size but didn't feel right for my age."

Josh, 11, is very tall for his age and said: "It feels really good to be helping children all around the world to fit into clothes that they might want.

"I struggle to get clothes that fit and some children might struggle even more than me."

Scan takes two minutes

The children being scanned stand in a special booth on their own in their underwear.

Adam gets scanned in 3D

The machine then uses 16 sensors and 32 cameras to take pictures. The whole process takes around two minutes.

That creates a virtual image of the child's body, which is saved on a computer without the person's name on it.

Eventually experts will be able to use the information from all the scans to come up with a new set of average measurements.