Obesity In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Your child is obese when he weighs too much for his age and height. Obesity is measured by using body mass index (BMI). Caregivers learn your child's BMI from his age, height, and weight. A child is obese when his BMI is 95 percent or higher than it should be for his age. Weight loss will decrease your child's risk for health problems such as asthma and diabetes.
You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.
- Your child could already have or be at risk for serious health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Obesity increases the risk of arthritis and breathing problems such as asthma. It may affect sex hormones and cause your child to mature sooner. Girls may begin having monthly periods sooner than expected. Your child may be teased by other kids, and feel bad about himself, which can cause him to have trouble at school. He may feel sad and hopeless. Obese children are more likely to be obese as adults, which increases the risk for medical problems caused by obesity.
- Your child may lose weight and then gain it back. Obesity medicines can cause diarrhea and other side effects.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
A consent form is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.
Caregivers will check your child's blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask you or your child about his pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your child's current health.
Your child may need medicines to treat health problems that are caused by obesity. Caregivers may suggest medicines if your child is dangerously overweight. With a healthy diet and regular exercise, certain medicines may help your child lose weight:
- Appetite suppressant: This medicine helps your child feel full so he may want to eat less food.
- Lipase inhibitor: This medicine blocks your child's body from absorbing the fat he eats.
Your child may need the following tests:
- Urine sample: A sample of your child's urine is collected and sent to a lab for tests.
- Blood tests: Your child may need blood tests to give caregivers information about how his body is working. The blood may be taken from your child's arm, hand, finger, foot, heel, or IV.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.