Assessing weight in young children

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Module aim

This module aims to equip practitioners with the skills and knowledge to identify unhealthy weight issues in children under 5 years and explain children’s weight status to parents.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Explain Body Mass Index (BMI) and how BMI centiles are used to diagnose weight issues in children
  • Use BMI charts to identify whether a child has healthy weight, underweight or overweight
  • Explain sensitively to parents how healthy their child’s weight is in relation to other children of their age and sex
  • Identify factors to consider when determining where and who to refer to (including signs and symptoms of genetic conditions) 

Important note. This module covers specific information to equip professionals to use BMI charts to identify unhealthy weight issues in young children. The intention is not to train professionals on the routine measurement and monitoring of child growth patterns. Health professionals using growth charts as a routine or occasional part of their role should refer to The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health for further information.

This module consists of the following sections: