Discussion: Health Assessment of Children’s Weight

Body measurements can provide a general picture of whether a child is receiving adequate nutrition or is at risk for health issues. These data, however, are just one aspect to be considered. Lifestyle, family history, and culture—among other factors—are also relevant. That said, gathering and communicating this information can be a delicate process.
For this Discussion, you will consider examples of children with various weight issues. You will explore how you could effectively gather information and encourage parents and caregivers to be proactive about their children’s health and weight.
To prepare:
• Consider the following examples of pediatric patients and their families:
o Overweight 5-year-old boy with overweight parents
o Slightly overweight 10-year-old girl with parents of normal weight
o 5-year-old girl of normal weight with obese parents
o Slightly underweight 8-year-old boy with parents of normal weight
o Severely underweight 12-year-old girl with underweight parents
• Select one of the examples on which to focus for this Discussion. What health issues and risks may be relevant to the child you selected?
• Based on the risks you identified, consider what further information you would need to gain a full understanding of the child’s health. Think about how you could gather this information in a sensitive fashion.
• Consider how you could encourage parents or caregivers to be proactive toward the child’s health.
By Day 3
Post an explanation of the health issues and risks that are relevant to the child you selected. Describe additional information you would need in order to further assess his or her weight-related health. Taking into account the parents’ and caregivers’ potential sensitivities, list at least three specific questions you would ask about the child to gather more information. Provide at least two strategies you could employ to encourage the parents or caregivers to be proactive about their child’s health and weight.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.
Week 3: Growth, Measurement, and Nutrition
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years, with an estimated 12.5 million children considered obese (CDC, 2012). When seeking insights about a patient’s overall health and nutritional state, body measurements can provide a valuable perspective. This is particularly important with pediatric patients. Measurements such as height and weight can provide clues to potential health problems and help predict how children will respond to illness. Nurses need to be proficient at using assessment tools such as the Body Mass Index (BMI) and growth charts in order to assess nutrition-related health risks and pediatric development while being sensitive to other factors that may affect these measures.
This week, you will examine assessment techniques, health risks and concerns, and recommendations for care related to patient growth, weight, and nutrition.
Learning Objectives
Students will:
• Assess weight-related health risks for pediatric patients
• Design effective strategies for communicating with parents or caregivers about children’s weight-related health
• Apply concepts, theories, and principles relating to health assessment techniques and considerations related to growth, measurement, and nutrition
• Apply assessment skills to collect patient health histories*
*The Assignment related to this Learning Objective is introduced this week and submitted in Week 4.
Learning Resources
Required Readings
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2015). Seidel’s guide to physical examination (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
• Chapter 6, “Growth and Measurement” (pp. 79-94)
In this chapter, the authors explain examinations for growth, gestational age, and pubertal development. The authors also differentiate growth amongst the organ systems.
• Chapter 7, “Nutrition” (pp. 95-113)
This chapter focuses on how nutrition affects growth, development, and health maintenance. The authors also provide guidelines for assessing nutrient intake.
• Review of Chapter 26, “Recording Information” (pp. 616-631)
This chapter provides rationale and methods for maintaining clear and accurate records. The text also explores the legal aspects of patient records.
Sullivan, D. D. (2012). Guide to clinical documentation (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.
• Chapter 3, “Adult Preventative Care Visits” (pp. 37–64)
• Chapter 4, “Pediatric Preventative Care Visits” (pp. 65–90)
Seidel, H. M., Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2011).History subjective data checklist. In Mosby’s guide to physical examination (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby. (PDF)
This History Subjective Data Checklist was published as a companion to Seidel’s guide to physical examination (8th ed.), by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., & Flynn, J. A. Copyright Elsevier (2015). From https://evolve.elsevier.com/
Gibbs, H., & Chapman-Novakofski, K. (2012). Exploring nutrition literacy: Attention to assessment and the skills clients need. Health, 4(3), 120–124.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This study explores nutrition literacy. The authors examine the level of attention paid to health literacy among nutrition professionals, and the skills and knowledge needed to understand nutrition education.
Martin, B. C., Dalton, W. T., Williams, S. L., Slawson, D. L., Dunn, M. S., & Johns-Wommack, R. (2014). Weight status misperception as related to selected health risk behaviors among middle school students. Journal of School Health, 84(2), 116–123. doi:10.1111/josh.12128
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Childhood overweight and obesity.
Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/
This website provides information about overweight and obese children. Additionally, the website provides basic facts about obesity and strategies to counteracting obesity.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). Clinical growth charts.
Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_charts.htm
This website provides basic information on clinical growth charts. The website also supplies clinical growth charts for up to age 20.
Optional Resources
LeBlond, R. F., Brown, D. D., & DeGowin, R. L. (2014). DeGowin’s diagnostic examination(10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Medical.
• Chapter 4, “Vital Signs, Anthropometric Data, and Pain” (pp. 51–87)
This chapter explores vital signs, temperature, pulse, respirations, and blood pressure. In addition, the authors discuss body size measurements and pain assessment.

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