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

Ran D. Goldman, Stephen Buskin, Arie Augarten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 χ2 and ANOVA tests. Results: 51.5% of parents estimated their child's body weight within ± 5% of the true weight, 73.4% within ± 10%, and 87.5% within ± 20%. 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 pre-hospital and emergency department situations, when children's weight is not known and cannot be measured.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-21
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Parental weight estimates


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