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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 108-111

Weighing the child: Are we getting it right?

Department of Paediatrics, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University Kano, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ibrahim Aliyu
Department of Paediatrics, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/9783-1230.144771

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Background: The weighing scale is vital to pediatric practice especially in calculation of drug dosages and anthropometric assessment. Occasionally, it may be difficult measuring the actual weight of a child; weight estimation comes handy. Several estimation methods have been developed, some peculiar to some settings. It is common practice in weight estimation to subtract maternal weight from the combined maternal and child's weight, in-order to derive an estimated child's weight. However, this method has not been validated to the best of our knowledge. Therefore, this study seeks to establish if this method is accurate. Materials and Methods: This study was prospective cross-sectional with a systematic random sampling design. This included children aged 0-5 years; their weights were measured using bassinet weighing scales and the beam balance stand for children less than and more than 3 years respectively. Results: There were 409 subjects recruited, 239 (58.4%) males and 170 (41.6%) female with male to female ratio of 1.4:1. The mean weights were higher in the estimation group, but these were not statistically significant. Proportion of agreement within 10% of the actual weight showed remarkable agreement in all age groups. The highest percentage difference observed was 26% and the mean percentage difference for the different ages being <5%, while the square of the difference between both methods was 0.18 ± 0.83. However, the actual weight was underestimated in 23.7% of cases. Conclusion: This "crude method" is an efficient alternative method of weight estimation in Nigerian children.

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