Paediatric Assessment Tools

Written by david ferris
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Paediatric Assessment Tools
Some stethoscopes are designed specifically for paediatric diagnostics. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Paediatrics is an important branch of medicine because it involves the health of babies and children, age groups that are particularly vulnerable to illness and injury. Quality paediatric treatment early in life helps ensure good health later in life. Paediatricians employ a number of assessment tools and techniques in their care of young patients.

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Some paediatricians use the standard stethoscope that is also used for adults, but there are specialised paediatric stethoscopes. These are designed to fit over the diaphragm in order to read heartbeats and are better suited for the contours of a child's body.

Paediatric Assessment Triangle

The Pediatric Assessment Triangle is useful in emergency situations, because it's designed to take 30 to 60 seconds to assess a child's well-being. The three points of the triangle are appearance, work of breathing and circulation to skin. This method is used to diagnose respiratory problems, heart issues, internal or external bleeding and other vital health indicators.


The FLACC scale is a diagnostic technique used to evaluate a baby or child's pain. It's especially useful in nonverbal or preverbal children because it relies on body language and other nonverbal indicators to reach an assessment. The acronym stands for "Face, Legs, Activity, Cry and Consolability." Providers evaluate each criterion on a scale of 0 to 3. Zero indicates normal or minimally agitated behaviour; 3 suggests unusual jerking of limbs and inconsolable crying.

Paediatric Surgical Tools

Surgery can be a traumatic, difficult experience for children, both physically and emotionally. Minimally invasive surgical tools have been adopted for paediatric assessment. Such tools include endoscopic cameras that can be inserted into the body and high-precision cutting methods that are less destructive than scalpels. MIS tools for paediatric patients decrease recovery time and pain and lower the risk for infection.

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