Assessment of Nutrition in Children Essay
Nutrition, among other things, influences children’s growth and development. The nutritional need is especially important before a child reaches the age of five, owing to the robust physical and physiological development. At this stage of development, any dietary deficiency has both short- and long-term health repercussions. The case study is about a five-year-old severely underweight child who lives with his normal-weight adopted mother and father. His weight predisposes him to several health issues and hazards, as detailed below.
An Explanation of the Health Issues and Risks Relevant to the Child
Given the consequences of malnutrition, especially during the first five years of life, adequate nutrition is paramount. Low weight for age is one of the signs of malnutrition, as demonstrated in the 5-year-old child’s case scenario. Concerning health issues and risks, the child will undergo immunological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, genitourinary, and circulatory changes. The immune system of malnourished children is significantly compromised due to decreased immunoglobin levels, reduced complement system, and low phagocytic activity, putting the child at risk of infections (Dipasquale et al., 2020). In the cardiovascular system, the patient is in danger of diminished cardiac output and low blood pressure, which may lead to hypoperfusion of the body’s vital organs (Dipasquale et al., 2020). Because of the gut’s diminished absorptive capacity, nutritional absorption is substantially reduced, exacerbating undernutrition. Furthermore, in the genitourinary system, the kidney’s capacity to excrete excess acid and water is severely diminished, and the patient is vulnerable to urinary tract infections due to inadequate immunity (Dipasquale et al., 2020). The many biochemical and physiological changes are a response to the body’s already low energy levels.
Obtaining a medical history from children may be challenging; consequently, in most circumstances, proxy reporting by parents is helpful. It is critical to gather information on the various causes of the child’s malnutrition, as well as vital data for the child’s diagnosis. Data on the child’s dietary intake may tell if child abuse is a likely cause of malnutrition. According to Burford et al. (2020), the underprivileged, such as adopted children, may encounter medical neglect in a variety of ways, one of which is a deprivation of adequate nutritious food. Asking the parents about the child’s dietary schedule, components, and capacity to acquire food is vital
Malnutrition may be caused by nutritional deprivation, but it can also be associated with other medical conditions. I would have to determine whether the child has any medical condition that causes significant wasting, such as HIV, tuberculosis, malignancies, or any other chronic disease. Laboratory testing would also provide further information to aid in determining the cause of malnutrition. Among the valuable laboratory data that would be required are a complete blood count or blood culture, which may indicate an infection as a cause or a consequence of malnutrition, HIV testing, and Xpert MTB/RIF for tuberculosis (Keller, 2019). Because the child is adopted, obtaining information from the parents may be challenging because they are more likely to conceal any history of the child’s mistreatment. As a result, emphasizing the significance of the medical history to the parents, explaining to them in clear, precise, and unadorned language, and acknowledging or speaking to them in their local language are critical in acquiring the information.
Burford, A., Alexander, R., & Lilly, C. (2020). Malnutrition and medical neglect. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 13(3), 305–316. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-019-00282-0
Dipasquale, V., Cucinotta, U., & Romano, C. (2020). Acute malnutrition in children: Pathophysiology, clinical effects and treatment. Nutrients, 12(8), 2413. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082413
Keller, U. (2019). Nutritional laboratory markers in malnutrition. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8(6), 775. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8060775
Case: 5-year-old severely underweight male who lives with his normal weight adopted mother and father.
Include the following:
An explanation of the health issues and risks relevant to the child you were assigned.
Describe additional information you would need to assess his or her weight-related health further.
Identify and describe any risks and consider further information you would need to understand the childâ€™s health fully. Think about how you could sensitively gather this information.