SECTION ONE: ASSESSMENT OF CHILD’S HEALTH: RAW DATA PRESENTATION
The child’s name is Heidi; she is female, aged 10 years and 5 months. The assessment session was administered at the child’s home. She is 144cm tall, has a weight of 37.6kgs, and her BMI value is 17.3. The child’s temperature is 36.60C, her respiration rate was 16, and her pulse was 77bpm.
The questions asked during the Child’s Health Assessment: Health of Infants, Children and Young People.
ORAL HEALTH AND ORAL HEALTH BEHAVIORS
Do you brush your teeth? Answer, yes.
How many times a do you brush in a day and at what time? Answer: Once a day in the morning.
Assessor’s comment: the child has a broken front tooth; the rest of her teeth are in a good state; she has the total number of teeth expected for a child of her age.
Can you read this sentence aloud? The sentence to be re-read by the child: I ‘think’ that my mother has left the dirty utensils inside the ‘sink’ at the kitchen. Attention was placed on the words inside quote marks: think and sink.
Answer: the child demonstrated the ability to read the sentence without any errors, although she had a lisp due to her broken front tooth, she could not pronounce the word think and sink differently.
Can you repeat the words that I say? The assessor read the following words: just, say, has, words, asked, same, please, elephant, race and computer. The assessor also asked the child to read the phrase, ‘I am going to the market.’ The child will repeat the words and the phrases pronounced.
Answer: she was able to repeat the listed words, including elephant and computer. She was able to read the phrase, ‘I am going to the market’.
Assessor’s comment: the child’s communication with the assessor was effective; she appeared relaxed and talkative around him, despite her lisp disorder.
Interaction with the assessor
At what time do you go to sleep at night?
Answer: 10:30 at night.
What activities do you do after you go to bed; do you head straight to sleep or do you do some things like reading for a while, before sleeping?
Answer: I watch TV for some time, and then I get to sleep.
What have you done in sports or outdoor activities that you are especially proud about?
Answer: At my school’s athletics sports day, I took 3rd and 4th positions in the 800 meters and the relay races
Tell me 3 outdoor games you like to play?
Answer: Basketball, soccer and swimming
What is your favorite TV show and video game?
Answer: my favorite TV show is Victorious and my favorite video game is skylanders.
What amount of time in a week do you spend in front of the screen, watching TV or playing your favorite game?
Answer: Video gaming 5 hours watching TV, 8 hours
Based on 24 hour recall estimation, if you were to cook a healthy meal for your family, what meal would you prepare?
Answer: I would make fruit salad and chow mein, which is a dish of stir-fried noodles.
What do you take as your breakfast?
Answer: I do not take breakfast, as I get hungry at around 10am.
Based on 24 hour recall, after I feel hungry, I would take fried rice, McDonalds, apple chips and nuggets.
What comments would you make about your health status in general (Record of any comments made by the child about their general health status):
Answer: I think that I am unhealthy, because I do not eat healthy food.
How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Answer: 1 sister and 3 brothers
How many people live in your house?
Answer: 6 people live at our house
Family Socialization - family activities.
Answer: I go dancing on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. On Sundays we go to my granddad’s place.
What is the most fun thing your family has done together this year?
Answer: We went to the zoo and adventure park. It was cool.
Friendships/ Social Network
What do you do with your friends when they come over to your house?
Answer: We go outside and play basketball, watch TV. We also talk about one direction and Justin Beiber, and that sums-up the list up.
Do you have friends out of school, and what do you do with them?
Answer: Yes, I do have friends out of school. We go to each other’s houses and ride our penny boards together.
ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF THE ASSESSMENT DATA
Physical health and oral health
According to Jago et al. (2010), a female child of 10 years and 5 months, weighing 37.6 kg, 144 cm tall and a BMI value of 17.3, which falls under the 75th percentile, identify her as healthy. The healthy BMI indicates that she gets adequate nutritional provision. This status, complemented by her physically activity, leave the area of improvement as that of changing her diet to eat healthier meals. Her temperature at 36.6 is normal, as the range falls between the normal ranges of 36.5 to 37.2. Her respiratory rate of 16 is normal for her age, as it falls within the range of 15-20. Her pulse rate of 77 is within the normal range of resting heart rate, which ranges between 60 and 80bpm. Her healthy respiratory system and a healthy heart function show the need to improve her lifestyle of unhealthy eating and high exposure to media. According to Weis and Cerankosky (2010), such sedentary lifestyle is a leading cause for obesity, therefore, the need to encourage her to develop a more active lifestyle. This shows that her physical fitness is not questionable, although it may be under threat, due to her dietary and sedentary lifestyle; her disposition to watching TV, gaming and eating junk food (Jago et al. 2010).
Based on oral health experts, it is recommended that those children aged 10 to 12 years should brush at least twice a day; this she has not done. Howard et al. (2006), like many other studies on the oral health of children, recommend that children should brush their teeth twice a day, which she does not meet, in her case of brushing once in the morning. Further, she should meet the minimum standard of brushing twice a day, as the broken tooth may be vulnerable to the development of cavities, which may damage her teeth further. At the moment, her poor oral hygiene has not affected her, as her tooth was broken by accident, leaving all her other teeth unharmed. Howard et al. (2006) warns that poor oral health in children, can affect their nutrition, social adjustment, overall health, and speech development among other areas. To address these issues, her parents can consider taking her to a dentist for tooth repair, as this will increase her self-esteem, especially among her peers. As a result of her broken tooth, her speech ability has been compromised, as evident from her lisp disorder. However, her lisp disorder can be corrected through speech therapy; therefore, should not be a source of alarm regarding her development.
Sleeping pattern and nutrition style
In the area of nutrition, it is evident that she keeps an unhealthy lifestyle. This is evident from her preferred meals, whether for breakfast or other meals. The subject prefers taking greasy foods like apple chips, fried rice and McDonalds. However, Salmon et al. (2007) insists on the importance of physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet, if only the health of children and adolescents is to be maintained. From her profile, the physical activity she engages is not satisfactory to eliminate the threat caused by her intake of unhealthy foods. This point can be solidified by her arguments that she is unhealthy, as she identifies with eating unhealthy meals.
Family life and social networks
Under family life, she identifies that she has a sister and three brothers. Two of her elder brothers live away from home, leaving six people living at her house. According to Harker (2006), living in an overcrowded family house, for example hers, where they are living with a sister and one brother, there is a possibility of neglecting her or another of the siblings. In such a case, the effect of living at the overcrowded house, the limited attention offered to the children, especially the girl child may impair the academic performance, physical health disposition and their general outlook on life. In the area of family socialization, the child names family activities that do not necessarily promote effective communication and socialization between her and the parents. However, she enjoys the times their family shared time together, showing that she would need more of such experiences. According to Petra and Kenneth (2007), there is a strong correlation between the input of the family and the school environment, and the development of children. Therefore, the imbalanced sex balance at their family, as she is living with her sister and a brother; as well as the relatively overcrowded home compromises the care she may need to get at home. However, her social networks can help her bridge the socialization and care deficiency she may feel, as it can affect a number of areas, including her nutrition, her social development, cognitive development and her performance in a number of areas.
In the area of social networks, she points out that her relationships are inclined to watching TV, talking about issues or debating different topics and playing games. The aspect of debating and playing games is likely to improve her social and physical development, while the social life kept with her friends offers a fall back place, where she can get the attention she lacks from the home environment (Petra & Kenneth 2007). From the girl’s health and social profile, she is relatively healthy and socially developed, as evident from her ability to associate with the assessor freely. However, from the family surroundings, it is clear that there is a deficiency in the care she deserves as well as the attention she may need. As a result, this may impair her social development and other areas of disposition, including physical development. An indicator of her unstable social development is her consideration of her health status. This is because she feels profoundly unhealthy, although that may not be the case. For instance, she identifies with a healthy meal, fruit salad, but she has a disposition of looking at the poor side of her diet (Petra and Kenneth 2007; Jago et al. 2009).
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