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Measure me March

Childhood overweight and obesity is a major public health issue, with more than one in four Australian children above a healthy weight. 
Without intervention it is said over 80 per cent of these children will go on to become adults who are overweight.

Clinical staff in all areas where children present play a vital role in addressing this.

NSLHD Clinical Director of the Children and Young People network Associate Professor Elisabeth Murphy said all children visiting NSW Health facilities – inpatient, outpatient and community settings – are required to have their growth assessed on a routine basis.

“Clinicians must routinely measure a child’s height and weight and enter the measurements into the electronic medical records at least once every three months,” she said.

“This practice represents good clinical care and also allows intervention to occur early if the child’s growth trajectory is deviating away from a healthy weight.

This practice represents good clinical care and also allows intervention to occur early if the child’s growth trajectory is deviating away from a healthy weight.
Associate Professor Elisabeth Murphy, NSLHD Clinical Director of the Children and Young People

 

Elisabeth said by routinely measuring a child’s height and weight staff can identify when a child is above or below a healthy weight, offer parents or carers advice, and if appropriate, refer the family to appropriate weight management services.

“In an effort to improve measurement our therapy dog Herbie demonstrated just how easy it was to do a height and weight measurement – even if you have four legs!” she said. 
 

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