BACKGROUND To investigate the distribution of the height, weight and body mass index (BMI) of children with congenital cataracts (CC) before surgical treatment. METHODS This prospective study included children with CC ≤14 years of age presenting at the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center from Jan. 2013 to Aug. 2016. The height, weight, and BMI measurements of all participating children were obtained and compared with the World Health Organization Child Growth Reference (WHO Reference), matched by age and gender. The presence of a family history of CC or complicated systemic diseases as well as parental education levels and family income were also recorded. RESULTS In total, 595 children with CC were included. The mean age was 52.75 ± 33.99 months, and 34.29% (204/595) of them were unilateral cases. Among all of the children, 6.72% (40/595) of cases were complicated by systemic diseases. More than 1/5 (21.01%, 125/595) of the children had a family history of CC and exhibited bilateral involvement. Less than 1/4 (23.2) of the mothers were highly educated, and more than half of the families had a family income below the city average. Height, weight, and BMI measurements of most children with CC were within the normal ranges (±95% CI of the WHO Reference). Compared to the WHO Reference, both girls and boys aged 2-5 years revealed shorter heights, and the girls aged 5-14 years exhibited a shorter height, lower body weight and lower BMI. The heights of the children with CC and systemic diseases were also shorter than the WHO Reference. The children with CC who had a family history of disease had shorter heights and lower BMIs than children with CC but no family history, and the measurements of both groups were lower than the WHO Reference values. CONCLUSIONS The height, weight and BMI of most of the children with CC in this study were within the normal ranges of the WHO Reference. However, the children with CC and concomitant systemic diseases and those with a family history of CC had shorter heights and lower BMIs. This information aids in our understanding of the physical development of children with CC.