Measurement of Growth and Nutrition in Children
It has been constantly stated that the best form of treatment is preventative. The same is the case when it comes to clinical practice and more so for the pediatric care. One of the best ways to enhance pediatric preventative care is to ensure accurate measurement of growth across this population. There are quite a number of factors that might affect the pediatric growth patterns. This includes nutrition, general health and even genetics.
To ensure the well-being of pediatric patients, the care provider must be able to measure and closely follow all the growth patterns and factors as the pediatric patient grows.
For any pediatrician, it is critical to fully understand the normal and abnormal growth patterns of a child. The characteristics of a normal growth patterns are used as the yard-stick to assess the general well-being of the child in terms of health. One of the ways of telling that there is an underlying health issue in a child is when they suddenly deviate from a stable growth pattern. In such an instance, a close follow-up and attention is highly recommended.
There are a number of factors that place the well-being of a child at risk with relation to growth. These include obesity, potential morbidity and even mortality. Every pediatrician should be well aware of such risks and ensure the child is safe and healthy. Keeping a constant eye on the growth pattern of the child is critical and big part of ensuring their well-being. This is why growth charts are a critical part in every pediatric health maintenance visit. They also help to play a significant role in the nutritional assessment of the child.
What You Need to Consider When Measuring Growth
Considering how vital measuring growth is for the child and the pediatrician, you need to make sure that you have proper results every time. It can be a tedious and messy task if you’re not sure of what you’re doing making it hard to establish and stable growth pattern. To help you make the right notations, here are some technical considerations you should have at the back of your mind.
The measurements must be as accurate as possible. It would be a great idea to have the office staff that is tasked with taking growth measurement trained. It would be a great addition to help keep the errors minimal. Other than the training, there are other methods that can help to reduce the errors.
Taking multiple measurements is one way to go about it. You can take up to three measurements and then get the mean height plotted to help ensure you have a standardized growth chart. This will also help to counter observer variation which can be quite a sore in the measuring process.
Another quite handy tip is to make sure that you use the same equipment each time. It helps to prevent faulty equipment and also ensures that you get the same results over and over again.
Nevertheless, even with the most care, it is still possible to have errors with the child measurement procedures. This is more so the case when the different heights are taken at different times of the day.
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