You are on page 1of 17



Karen M. Landers, MD, FAAP

Overview of Pediatric Assistant State Health Officer
Physical Assessment Pediatric Consultant
aba a Department
epa t e t of
o Public
ub c Health
ea t

Satellite Conference and Live Webcast

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Central Time
Produced by the Alabama Department of Public Health
Video Communications and Distance Learning Division

Essentials of Pediatric Essentials of Pediatric

Physical Assessment Physical Assessment
• Thorough history • Anticipatory guidance/preventive
• Properly interpreted vital signs health

• Properly evaluated developmental – Immunizations

and growth parameters – Ingestions
• Focused physical assessment – Injuries
• Problem list and plan

General Points About General Points Continued

Taking a History • Functional impairment
• Chief complaint
– Changes in eating patterns
• Onset of problem
– Playfulness
• Duration of problem
– School performance
• Progression of problem
– Sleep habits
• Aggravating or alleviating factors
• Associated manifestations


General Points General Appearance of

• Allergic history Infant or Child
• Medication history • Activity or movement
• Immunization history • Facial features
• Hospitalization and/or accidents • Behavior when examiner enters room
• Birth history – Developmentally appropriate
• Developmental milestones
• Nutritional status
• Family history
• Hygiene
• Social history

Approach to the Approach to the

Pediatric Patient Pediatric Patient
• Age appropriate interaction – Use observation liberally while
– Gentle and engaging taking the history

– Nonthreatening – Always
y inform the p
patient of what
you are about to do and never lie
– Take the path of least resistance
to the patient
– Quiet and soothing
– Minimize the use of the exam table
in infants and younger children

Growth and Growth and

Development Parameters Development Parameters
• Use current growth charts plotting • Measure head circumference up to
two years old placing measuring tape
• Weigh appropriately above eyebrows and measuring
– Dry diaper around to occipital prominence
• Check height by placing infant on
measuring table with head at the end
of the board
– Have older children take off shoes


Growth Parameters and Growth Parameters and

Areas of Concern Areas of Concern
• Know normal weight gains for age • Be concerned about head
• Usual expected height velocity for circumferences at extremes and
g height/weight crossing percentiles

• Family information specifically about

parental stature
• Consider children born in other

Developmental Assessment Developmental Assessment

for Age General Information for Age General Information
• Use standardized developmental • Ask about hearing concerns even
screening tools assessing gross with newborns
motor, fine motor, language, • Be alert to normal acquisition
q of
sensory, and social development language milestones
• Be “open-ended” with questions • Screen at every well infant and child
• Use observation during the history to visit
fill-in developmental information

Measure Vital Signs and Measure Vital Signs and

Know How to Interpret Age Know How to Interpret Age
Appropriate Variations Appropriate Variations
• Temperature • Pulse
– Can use tympanic thermometers to – Apical less than 2 years old/count
avoid invasive techniques such as for one minute
rectal thermometers past the
newborn and early infant ages


Measure Vital Signs and A Word About Blood

Know How to Interpret Age Pressure Measurement
Appropriate Variations • Select a cuff with a width that covers
• Respiratory Rate 2/3 of the upper arm and a length of
the bladder that encircles 100% of
– Count for one minute and be aware
the arm without overlap
of periodic and abdominal
breathing in infants • Know age appropriate normals

Respiratory Rates Respiratory Rates

• If possible measure in sleeping – School age children: 15-25
infants – Adolescents: 12-20
• Be aware that fever or crying will
elevate the rate significantly
– Premature infants: 40-60
– Newborns: 30-50
– Toddlers: 20-30

Blood Pressure Parameters Blood Pressure Parameters

• Specific charts are available in • General guidelines
reference materials – Newborn: 50-70 mmHg
– Harriet Lane Handbook of – Infant: 70-100 mmHg
– Toddler to 5 years: 80-100 mmHg
– NIH guidelines
– Elementary school: 80-120 mmHg
– Other authoritative sources
– Adolescent (13 years and above):
110-120 mmHg


Heart Rate Focus Points for the

Age Range of Rate Neonatal Examination
• Fontanels
Birth 70-190
0-6 months 130 • Skin color
6-12 months 115 • Facies
1-2 years 110 • Tone
2-6 years 80-130 • Symmetry
6-10 years 75-115 – Movement, respiratory effort,
10-14 years 70-110 abdomen
14 and above 65-100 • Reflexes

Neonatal Reflexes and Neonatal Reflexes and

When They Disappear When They Disappear
• Stepping: 2 months • Tonic neck: 4-6 months
• Moro: 3 months • Plantar grasp: 8-10
• Rooting: 3
4 months • Sucking: 10-12
10 12 months
• Palmar grasp: 3-4 months • Babinski: 2 years

Some Information on Weight Some Information on Weight

• Newborns may lose up to 10% of • Infants generally double their birth
their birth weight in the first 3-4 days weight by 5 months and triple it by
• Newborns gain ½ to 1 ounce per day one year
after that time
• Excessive or poor weight gain needs
to be addressed


Be Alert for Some Specifics in Neonates

Congenital Anomalies • Anterior and posterior fontanels
– Anterior closes between 12 - 18
– Posterior
P t i closes
l by
b 2-5
2 5 months
• Red reflex
• Sacral dimples
• Mongolian spots

Sacral Dimple Mongolian Spot

blue spots

Congenital Nevus System by System

Physical Examination
• Integument
• Neck
• Cardiovascular
• Pulmonary


System by System Integumentary

Physical Examination • Inflammatory
• Gastrointestinal
• Viral
• Genitourinary
• Bacterial
• Musculoskeletal
• Congenital
• Neurologic
• Allergic
• Other

General Principles of General Principles of

Examination of the Skin Examination of the Skin
• Color • Texture, turgor
– Pallor • Rashes
– Jaundice • Lesions
• Normal after 24 hours in • Hair and nails
newborn up to 7-10 days but
abnormal afterwards
– Variations in skin pigmentation

Some Descriptive Some Descriptive

Terms of Rashes Terms of Lesions
• Macular • Blistering
• Papular • Cystic

• Blanch with pressure • Hives or wheals

• Excoriated • Scaling

• Hemorrhagic


Some Descriptive Candidiasis

Terms of Lesions
• Crusting/scab forming
• Scars
• Other
– Congenital, neoplastic

Chicken Pox Herpes Simplex

Eczema Hemangioma


Milia Urticaria

Impetigo Contact Dermatitis

Ringworm Scabies


Seborrhea Café au Lait

Lymph Nodes Enlarged Lymph Node

• Small, nontender, English pea size,
soft, and freely moveable lymph
nodes are common primarily in the
cervical region
• Check cervical, axillary, inguinal
region for lymph nodes

Head and Neck Head and Neck

• Check for symmetry, head control in • Older infant
infants, posture to one side (an
– Flexion, extension, rigidity
indicator of torticollis), range of
motion – Thyroid enlargement, branchial
cleft cysts
• Feel the anterior and posterior


Eyes Strabismus
• Check for shape and symmetry
• Note the color of the conjunctiva
• Evaluate extra ocular movements
• Check
Ch k pupillary
ill reflexes
• Fundiscopic for red reflex
• Appropriate vision testing in the
clinical setting

Conjunctivitis Reflex Pathology

Ears Normal and Abnormal

• Evaluate shape, position
Tympanic Membrane
• View internal structures
• Newborn hearing screening and
ongoing assessment of hearing
including language development


Nose Throat
• Structure, position • Color of lips, presence of fissures

• Evidence of grunting or flaring • Teeth

• Color of any drainage, foul odor, – Number and condition

color of mucosa, location of septum • Gums
– Color and condition
• Tongue
– Midline, color, graphic patterns

Throat Enlarged Tonsils

• Integrity of palate and location of
• Tonsillar size

Geographic Tongue Chest and Back

• Inspect size, shape, symmetry along
with movement
• Note any distress including use of
accessory muscles
• Note symmetry of nipples and any
breast development
• Check for spinal curvature


Pectus Excavatum Pectus Excavatum

in sternum

Normal heart position

Pectus Excavatum Pectus Carinatum

Depression pushes
heart to the side

Heart Heart
• Palpate over the valvular areas • Murmurs
• Determine the PMI – Systolic murmurs can be normal
• Rate – Diastolic murmurs are always
– Higher
Hi h ththan adults
d lt b
abnormal l
• Rhythm noting that infants and • S1 and S2
children will have variation with


Murmurs Lungs
• Classic description • Auscultation
– Grade I-VI – Do not confuse upper airway
– Descriptive terms sounds with lung sounds

• Crescendo, decrescendo, harsh, – Equal breath sounds

blowing, soft – Rales, ronchi, wheezing

Abdomen Umbilical Hernia

• Inspect the shape
• Auscult for bowel sounds
– Normal should be heard every
10 - 30 seconds
• Palpate for masses, tenderness

Genitalia Genitalia
• Males – Location of urethral meatus
– Presence or absence of – Tanner staging
– Anal structure
– Penis
– Testes
• Descended, undescended, or


Hernias Hypospadius
Subcoronal (50%)

C D E Proximal


Genitalia Genitalia
• Females – Vaginal orifice along with any
– Labia majora and minora noting evidence of imperforate hymen or
any labial fusion in young infants other abnormalities
or young girls – Tanner stage
– Urethral orifice – Anus

Normal and Abnormal Hymens Extremities

• Range of motion with specific
concerns for hip movement in infants
• Femoral pulses
• Joint
J i t warmth,
th stability,
t bilit swelling,
tenderness, clubbing of fingers
• Gait
• Genu valgum or varum


Evaluation of Hip Mobility Genu Varum

in Infants

Genu Valgum Neurologic Assessment for Age

• Considerable information can be
gained by watching the child during
the history gathering portion of the
• Reflexes-biceps, triceps, patellar,

Neurologic Assessment for Age Sources for Photographs

• Assess cranial nerves and Images
• For older infants and children, • Photographic images obtained for
cerebellar function this presentation are used with
permission and solely for medical
educational purposes


Sources for Photographs

and Images
• Sources
www slideworld org
– Kinsburg, K., M.D.