Parent often worry about their children’s weight, especially if they seem extra thin, or overweight. However, because all kids develop at a different rate, it is not smart to compare your child to what your other kids weighed or looked like at their age, or what kids in their school class look like. Instead, it is best to compare your child to themselves, and what would be ideal for their age and height. The following is a look at things you can do to determine if your child’s weight is normal, and what to do if it is not.
Where do they fall on the BMI chart?
The BMI chart is the body mass index chart, and it indicates what is normal and healthy for weight based on your height and age. If you are worried about your child’s weight, then get an accurate measurement of it and their height, then plug the numbers along with their birth date into an online BMI calculator. This will give you a reading that tells you a number, such as eighteen. A percentile, such as 95%, and a rating, underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. The better calculators will also tell you what their weight should be at for them to be in a normal weight class.
These are only accurate indications if your measurements are accurate, so never base your decision about your child’s weight solely off of a BMI chart.
What does their pediatrician have to say about their weight?
If you want to know if your child’s weight is normal, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to talk to your child’s doctor. They should have records of your child, and will be able to see if they have put on a lot of weight, or are not gaining at their normal rate. They will also be able to tell you how your child compares to other children, and if their weight is healthy or not. If your pediatrician finds your child to be overweight, they will help you come up with a plan to help rectify the situation. They may recommend an exercise regime, a diet change, etc. It would be wise to pay attention to what they have to say.
What kind of life do they lead?
Is your child coming home from school and immediately plopping down in front of the television, computer, or video game? If so, you may want to pay attention to their weight. If they appear to be overweight, then get them to be more active. You can do things outside as a family, or enroll them in an activity.
Are they healthy?
Just because your child does not appear to be overweight does not mean that they are healthy. If your child is underweight, it may be a problem of malnourishment. So, regardless of what the BMI chart says, look at your child and consider their energy levels and decide if they are healthy.