Advanced Health Assessment Essay
Advanced health assessment on weight-related health is essential for parents and caregivers to track their children’s weight gain or loss, determine whether they are underweight or overweight, and decide on the steps to take to help the child maintain a healthy weight. According to Song et al. (2018), children with a healthy weight seem to be fitter, healthier, able to concentrate in school and learn and are more self-confident. The weight-related health risks in children include diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and developing stroke even in adulthood. The child that will be assessed is an eight-year-old male, overweight male. This essay presents different concepts of an advanced health assessment, the related health issues, weight-related risks, further information, and the specific questions to ask the caregiver or the parents. The child to be for this assessment is a foster child whose foster parents have an average weight while his biological parents are overweight.
Health Issues and Risks Relevant to the Child
The child assigned is an 8-year-old overweight male. There are various health issues and related risks for this child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.) notes that obese children are exposed to a higher risk of health conditions than children with a healthy weight. Some health conditions for which this child may be at increased risk include type 2 diabetes, breathing problems including asthma and sleep Apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, heart disease, joint pains, and gallstone and gallbladder disease (CDC.gov, n.d.)
Furthermore, research shows that childhood obesity is associated with weight-related stigma and bullying, psychological issues such as depression and anxiety, low self-esteem, self-reported quality of life, and obesity in adulthood (Rundle et al., 2020). The social issues related to the obese child, including weight-related stigma and peer bullying, can significantly affect the child’s health, especially maintaining healthy weight behavior. Additionally, the child is at a higher risk for mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, resulting from low self-confidence, bullying, and exposure to weight-related stigma. Rundle et al. (2020) also note that obese children are likelier to be obese even in adulthood, especially if the obesity is not treated in childhood.
Additional Information to Further Assess weight-related Health
Extensive assessment is required to acquire information on the child’s weight-related health. The additional information that will be necessary to assess the child’s weight further includes height, body mass index (BMI), fat mass index, weight circumference, body habitus, and vitals (Panuganti et al., 2022). The height and weight would be used to calculate the body mass index. The body habitus will help determine the child’s level of obesity, or whether the child is just overweight, and decide what steps can be taken to address it. Body habitus is an individual’s physical characteristics, including physique, body build, and general bearing. It is worth noting that assessing the weight-and related health of a child should be in line with the standard screening tool for obesity, the BMI, and the child’s vitals, to ensure all the necessary information is gathered. I would also assess whether the child has obesity-related health conditions, such as diabetes and gait abnormalities.
Risks and Further Information to Gain Full Understanding of the Child Weight-related Health
Following the complete physical assessment, further information to gain a full understanding of the child’s weight-related health would be to gather an entire history of obesity in the child. History taking would help screen and understand the underlying causes of the child’s obesity (Panuganti et al., 2022). When gathering the child’s obesity history, I would ask for nutrition patterns, previous weight loss efforts and the results, sleep patterns, physical activity, and family history. I would also assess any medications used that may be causing the weight gain and associated past medical history, including surgical history that may have contributed to weight gain or caused the child to be physically inactive. Identifying the exact possible cause of obesity will help address the issue by informing further medical and nursing management.
Specific Questions to Ask About the Child
Parents and caregivers have been allowed by law to take full responsibility for their children’s health, decision-making, and any consequences from the decisions until the child attain the legal age (Warnick et al., 2019). Thus, it is good to note that I engaged the child’s caregiver throughout the assessment, and the physical assessment was done in their presence. There are various specific questions that the parent and guardian can be asked about the child’s weight-related health. The first question is whether the child has changes in appetite and feeding habits. The other question is whether the child demonstrates difficulties in carrying out physical activities. Additionally, I can ask if the child has weight-related health conditions and any medications that cause weight gain. Additionally, when asking these questions, I considered the caregiver’s sensitivity and avoided using words such as overeating or being lazy.
Strategies to Encourage Parents and Caregivers to be Proactive About their child’s Weight-Related Health
According to Pudney, Himmelstein and Puhl (2018), parents and caregivers play a significant role in the weight-related health of their children. They can help reduce weight stigma that may affect the child’s healthy weight behavior, thus discouraging maintaining healthy weight maintenance and weight loss for obese children. On the contrary, parents and caregivers can encourage their children to seek healthy weight behaviors, maintain a healthy weight, and encourage weight loss. Thus, it is essential to encourage parents and caregivers to be proactive about their child’s weight-related health. Strategies that can be used to encourage parents and caregivers to be proactive about their child’s weight-related health include nutrition education and teaching on the importance of physical activity. Nutrition education is essential in helping parents promote healthy eating habits in their children. More so, parents and caregivers can proactively support their children in weight-loss efforts by enhancing better nutritional habits.
Furthermore, educating the parent on the importance of physical activity is another way to encourage the patent or caregiver to be proactively involved in the weight-related health of their child. By understanding the importance of physical activity, parents can create an environment whereby their children are physically active, thus helping them lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
In summary, advanced health assessment of children with obesity is essential in tracking the related health issues and risks. Assessment should include physical assessment and history taking. The parent or caregivers of the child should be actively engaged in assessing their child, and the nurse should consider the parent’s or care provider’s sensitivity. It is vital to encourage parents and caregivers to be proactive in their child’s weight-related health.
Panuganti K.K, Nguyen M, Kshirsagar R. K. & Doerr, C. (2022) Obesity (Nursing) StatPearls [Internet]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK568702/
Pudney, E. V., Himmelstein, M. S., & Puhl, R. M. (2019). The role of weight stigma in parental weight talk. Pediatric Obesity, 14(10), e12534. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpo.12534
Rundle, A. G., Factor-Litvak, P., Suglia, S. F., Susser, E. S., Kezios, K. L., Lovasi, G. S., Conh, B. A.,& Link, B. G. (2020). Tracking of obesity in childhood into adulthood: effects on body mass index and fat mass index at age 50. Childhood Obesity, 16(3), 226-233. https://doi.org/10.1089/chi.2019.0185
Song, M., Lee, C. S., Lyons, K. S., Stoyles, S., & Winters-Stone, K. M. (2018). Assessing the feasibility of parent participation in a commercial weight loss program to improve child body mass index and weight-related health behaviors. SAGE Open Medicine, 6, 2050312118801220. https://doi.org/10.1177/2050312118801220
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Overweight and Obesity. Consequences of Obesity in Childhood. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/index.html
Warnick, J. L., Stromberg, S. E., Krietsch, K. M., & Janicke, D. M. (2019). Family functioning mediates the relationship between child behavior problems and parent feeding practices in youth with overweight or obesity. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 9(3), 431–439. https://doi.org/10.1093/tbm/ibz050