Best way to Weigh a hospitalized Ped


Hi All,

Peds have moved to our postpartum floor, so I am new to peds. We don't have bed scales in all of our ped beds. The other day, we had an appy patient who was VERY painful and did not want to get out of bed. The only weight we had was from the ED.

When we finally got him up and weighed (with lots of tears), he was 11 pounds lighter than what was recorded! This scared the daylights out of me, because all of the meds are dosed by weight. Luckily, the MD had dosed in the lower range, so with the lower weight, we were still OK.

However, this should not have happened. What if we get patients with fractures, or a very painful MVA kiddo?

How do you weigh the kids in your hospital? Some are light enough for a parent or the RN to hold and weigh (subtracting the adult's weight, of course). But what about a larger kid?:rolleyes:


Pediatric Critical Care Columnist / Guide

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

If you're that concerned about absolutely accurate weights on your peds patients, push for the acquisition of a sling scale. They're much cheaper than beds with built-in scales and are portable. The other alternative, which you're probably not going to like much, is the Broselow tape. It estimates weight based on length, and will be inaccurate with particularly lean children. You could use the tape to give you an estimate, then decrease the weight slightly to account for the child's body type. In my not-inconsiderable experience, most estimated weights are underestimated though.

Specializes in pediatrics. Has 14 years experience.

All our beds have a scale- for our daily wgt kiddos, it's as easy as getting 'em off the bed, clear it, and have 'em sit back down.

For babies- we have an infant scale... we get a naked wgt, especially for those Failure To Thrive babies. Or our beds are pretty sensitive and we can weigh our bigger babies on them if need be.

And there's always the good old standing scale in the treatment room- the one our more diet-crazy nurses use daily.

It stinks that you missed the opportune moment to weigh that appy kid. We try to get the bed all cleared out once that ED gurney gets to the room, before the child sits down/gets transferred. I guess you'll just have to make a note of which rooms have bed scales and save 'em for the more difficult to transfer kiddos. Or else that sling scale could work!

Accurate weights are pretty crucial. Peds + postpardum might make for interesting pt combos. :)