Weight is an important measure of a child's growth and development. However, there is a relatively wide range of normal weight. You should be concerned if your child weighs less than the 5th percentile, or if her or his growth curve has dropped off significantly. Your child's doctor can tell you if this has happened by using medical records. Earlier on in life, being born prematurely may affect which growth curve your child's doctor uses, in which case, drop-off of the growth curve will be more useful than absolute weight. Bring your child in to see her or his doctor sooner if she or he is having significant diarrhea or very low appetite.
Lee Beerman, MD
- pediatric cardiology
Location and Office HoursChildren's Hospital of Pittsburgh Heart Center
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
- monday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
- tuesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
- wednesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
- thursday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
- Coventry HealthAmerica
- Keystone Health Plan West (Highmark BC/BS)
- Unison/Three Rivers Health Plans/MedPLUS+
- Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
- Dubois Regional Medical Center West
- Hamot Medical Center
- Latrobe Hospital
- Magee-Womens Hospital
- Medical Center of Beaver
- UPMC Presbyterian
- Should I be concerned if my child is underweight?
How do I pack my child’s backpack so that it doesn’t hurt his back?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answeredWhen you’re packing your child’s backpack, start by picking a lightweight backpack with multiple compartments to make it easier to balance the load. Doctors recommend that a backpack’s weight never be more than 10 to 20% of a child’s body weight.
Make sure that your kid wears his backpack correctly, which means using both shoulder straps and adjusting them so that the bag is resting in the middle of his back and not hanging down.
When packing the backpack, put heavier items close to the center of the back, with lighter items such as pens and calculators on the outside pockets. Eliminate extraneous items, like video games.
If you’re concerned about the weight of your child’s backpack, find out if there are ways to lighten the load, such as not requiring kids to carry heavy textbooks around all day.
How can I control my child's nausea and vomiting after surgery?
Intermountain Healthcare answeredAfter surgery, you can control nausea and prevent vomiting by helping your child to lie quietly and decrease movement. You can also wait to have your child drink until he feels less sick to his stomach.
At times, it is impossible to prevent vomiting. If your child vomits, wait until his stomach has settled down about 30 minutes and then begin to give small sips of clear liquid or ice chips every five to 10 minutes. Clear liquids include water, apple juice mixed with water, or Pedialyte for younger children. If your child is older, try a popsicle, Gatorade, Jello, decaffeinated Coke, or 7-Up. Have your child drink a small amount every 15 to 30 minutes but do not force it. If the nausea returns, wait another 30 minutes and try again.
Once your child has stopped feeling nauseous and throwing up after surgery, begin giving solid foods. Start with soft, bland foods like cooked cereal, applesauce, toast, crackers, or pasta. Avoid fatty or greasy foods such as french fries and hamburgers. Restaurants in general should be avoided.
See all Children's Health questions