Tool helps GPs quickly assess child growth
Friday, 25 May 2012
A range of tools from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health will help GPs and colleagues to quickly and simply assess the growth of school-age children. The growth charts, training notes and resources, published today, will also help to avoid intimate examinations of children to determine premature or delayed puberty.
The College has produced a BMI centile lookup and plotting grid for 2-18-year-old children, which it says will mean healthcare professionals can now easily use BMI to assess whether or not a child is overweight as a matter of routine. Previously, clinicians had to use a calculator and separate BMI charts for children; the new charts will be more simple, accurate, and relevant than previous versions, says the RCPCH.
The College has also published quick-to-use, statistically valid scales to help doctors determine whether or not a child’s growth is within expected limits, and to estimate the child’s eventual adult height – without the complex calculations that were needed before.
The resources published on the RCPCH website include guidance on the assessment of puberty, to make it easier for clinicians to spot precocious or delayed puberty without the need for intimate examinations.
Professor Charlotte Wright, professor of community child health and consultant paediatrician at Yorkhill hospital in Glasgow, led the project. She said: “The new charts allow doctors and nurses to quickly identify any abnormalities in a child’s development based on some very simple height and weight measurements. The charts will be simpler to use, while producing information that is more relevant and more accurate than ever before.”