Determining whether or not a child is at a healthy weight is difficult for one main reason: Body Mass Index (BMI) is typically how body fat is calculated, however, for children it’s different. Their BMI is on a sliding scale in terms of percentile in comparison to all other children. A child who is 5 years old and weighs 100lbs. is considered normal if all other 5 year olds weigh 100lbs. It’s the flaw in the system. Rather than looking at a child’s weight to determine their health status, let’s instead take a look at the top 3 early warning signs you might see if your child’s weight is unhealthy to their body.
Does your child get out of breath easily?
We know “in shape” to mean running marathons and doing laundry off six-pack abs. It really doesn’t need to be this hardcore for everyone, and it certainly doesn’t need to look like this in children. In fact, the time to be concerned about your child’s physical appearance in terms of weight is when they are out of breath while doing regular things.
Running laps around the block will make a child out of breath. Going up a flight of stairs should not. Running from the house out to the car shouldn’t make them out of breath either. If this is happening to your child whose weight is heavier than the average person their age, their weight is affecting their health.
Want some fun activities to help get your kiddo moving? Try one of our 5 Easy Games to Get Your Kids Moving and Prevent Childhood Obesity.
Does your child complain of joint pain?
Children who are active can be prone to rolling their ankles, shin splints, knee pain, shoulder pain, and other occasional joint pain. It’s typically short lived, and a direct result of their activity. Children who aren’t active, and are at an unhealthy weight, may experience joint pain in the lower extremities. Knees and ankles are commonly affected.
This pain is a result of excessive pressure on their joints at all times, and has lifelong implications. Take a look at our Tips to Gain Control of Childhood Obesity for some tips and tricks to get the ball (instead of the ankle) rolling on combating a child’s excess weight in healthy ways.
Does your child seem isolated?
With social media offering such easy access to page after page, photo after photo of unrealistic body standards, most adolescents feel some degree of low self-esteem. Throw in the raging hormones and you find yourself with a destructive concoction. Still, there is a specific type of behavior that seems to affect children who truly perceive themselves to be overweight: isolation. This can affect all children with a weight issue.
A little overweight, morbidly obese, the amount is irrelevant. When this happens, their weight is affecting their health, and it’s time for them to see a healthcare provider to discuss how to cut both the pounds and their perception of themselves.
You are not alone in this. In fact, it’s far more common in our population than you may think. Don’t believe us? Check out Dr. Bonsteel’s article, What Are the 2 Greatest Health Crises for Our Local Communities?
If you think your child is suffering from their weight, or facing the potential for long-term issues due to their weight, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Check out Childhood Obesity: Causes, Challenges, and Consequences for more information about childhood obesity, and what to do about it.
You can also stop by one of our clinics to be seen by a healthcare provider about your concerns. There is no shame in asking for help. It’s not an easy task, but it’s not about us or you: it’s about the child, and what kind of future they have based on their health. We want the best for our community. Come in and see what we have to offer! Walk-ins are welcome at our Gridley and Oroville Medical Specialty Centers – Your Everyday Health Care Clinic!Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.