Parental Estimates of their child's weight: Accurate for resuscitation drug doses

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Objective: The aim of this study was to assess parental reliability in estimating child body weight in emergency situations, when weighing the child is often impossible.Methods: 312 parents were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire that included estimating their child's weight. 233 questionnaires were enrolled in the study and were assessed statistically using Students t test, and x2 and ANOVA tests.Results: 51.5% of parents estimated their child's -body weight within pM5% of the true weight, 73.4% within pM10%, and 87.5% within pM20%. A significant difference was found between paternal and maternal estimations, with 56% of mothers and only 40.3% of fathers estimating within a 5% range of accuracy (P < 0.05).Conclusions: Parents, especially mothers, can estimate their child's body weight within clinically acceptable limits. These estimations can reliably be used to calculate drug doses in prehospital and emergency department situations, when children's weight is not known and cannot be measured.

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