Tag: Dr. Alan Greene

5 Things Parents Should Look for in Their Children’s Medical Record

Many of us are clueless about the valuable information contained in our children’s medical records. Knowing what’s there can help us make smart decisions; not knowing can leave us navigating in the dark. Getting ahold of your child’s records has never been easier – or more important. It’s powerful knowledge anytime, and all the more so during the holiday travel season when you might be seeing an unfamiliar face in a clinic or ER.

Here are five things I think parents should look for in their children’s medical record and have at their fingertips:

1. BMI Percent – Parents are often stunningly wrong about whether or not their children are at a healthy weight, highlighted by a study released December 2011 in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. We are so familiar with our kids – and so many of their peers are overweight – that they often look normal to us even when they are not. And more than 75% of parents of overweight children aged 2 to 15 report never being told the child is overweight by the pediatrician – it can be uncomfortable to talk about and difficult to hear.

But childhood obesity is the great epidemic of our time, one of the biggest threats to our kids’ health. What’s a parent to do?

Know your child’s BMI Percent. The Body Mass Index is a calculation that looks at appropriate weight for height for a given age and gender. If children’s BMI is below the 5th percentile, they are likely underweight. If they are at the 85th percentile or above, they are likely to be overweight. Above the 95th percentile? Obese. Knowledge is the first step toward health.

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