Finding out your child’s BMI us the best way of understanding their weight.
Children’s BMI (Body Mass Index) is worked out slightly differently to adults, as their age and gender are taken into account as well as their height and weight. Children’s BMI scores are presented as a “centile”, and if your child is over the 91st centile it would suggest they are carrying some excess weight.
There are a few ways you can check your child’s BMI:
You might have noticed that your child looks larger than their school friends and you may have put it down to them having a growth spurt… but if they continue to be larger than their peers, they could be carrying excess weight.
Early intervention can be really helpful here. At our BeeZee Families programme we often find that families can make a couple of small changes which can lead to having big impact on their child’s health.
With the kids going back to school in September perhaps you’re buying new school uniforms and during the process you’ve noticed they’ve put on a little bit of extra weight since last time, or you need to buy a larger size than their age?
Getting children’s sizes right can be really challenging; it varies from shop to shop and children of the same age are all different sizes. We absolutely recognise that clothes sizes are not representative of age, as they do not take height or other factors into account – but buying a larger age size could be an indicator that your child may be above a healthy weight.
Sometimes parents might notice their child is carrying excess weight when they are physically active. Common signs are; struggling to keep up with friends, needing to take more breaks than their peers, getting out of breath quickly or maybe they’re sweating more than their friends.
We understand that every child is different and that these signs are not an exact science, however they may help to build a picture.
At BeeZee Families we can help children to build up skills and confidence around exercise and help them to find a sport or activity they love.
Children can become self-conscious for multiple reasons, however as children grow up they can become more self-aware of their body image (If your child is struggling with body image issues, be sure to check out our Parent’s Guide to promoting a positive body image)
Often body image issues can arise from influences from social media, the internet and TV. We want our children to be happy and comfortable in their own skin but we can’t lock them away from the world in order to achieve this. But sometimes children can become self-conscious because they realise they are carrying more weight than their peers.
At BeeZee Families we focus on health and not weight or image, and work really hard on improving children’s self-esteem and confidence.