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Training Module: Children with special health care needs

Measurement considerations for children with special health care needs
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3. Measurement considerations for children with special needs

3.2 Weight measures

Weight should be measured on beam-balance or digital scales. For children and adolescents with special needs who are unable to stand, chair scales, bucket scales and wheelchair scales should be used. In some facilities, bed scales may be available.

In clinical situations where equipment is limited to standing scales, it may be necessary to weigh someone (for example, a parent or caregiver) holding the child, weigh the parent or caregiver alone, and then subtract the weight of that person from the weight of the two together.

Sequential weights are important, and the child should always be wearing the same amount of clothing. Braces and special shoes should be removed in order to obtain an accurate weight. If the child wears braces, the braces may be weighed once, separately, and then subtracted from subsequent weight measurements.

Information about equipment, including sources for special scales is found in the module, Accurately Weighing & Measuring Infants, Children and Adolescents: Equipment.

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