Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Medicine dosing by weight in the home: can parents accurately weigh preschool children? A method comparison study


Objective To determine the accuracy with which parents can estimate preschool children's weight using home scales in order to calculate antipyretic dose.

Design Cross-sectional, method comparison study.

Setting and participants 156 preschool children aged 6 months to 6 years recruited from primary care and the community to an antipyretic strategies trial and managed at home.

Comparison and outcome measures Research nurse weight estimate using Seca 835-2 digital paediatric scales compared with parental weight estimate using usual home scales.

Results Parents of 62 (40%) preschool children had home scales. Research scale estimated weights were heavier than home scale weight estimates, with a mean difference of 0.41 kg (95% CI −0.24 to 0.74 kg), with 95% limits of agreement of −2.44 to 1.47 kg.

Conclusion Weight can be estimated accurately enough to calculate antipyretic medicine doses by the minority of parents having scales that can be used to estimate their child's weight.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.