Child Wellness Clinic
The Child Wellness team specializes in caring for young people with excessive body weight or obesity that puts them at risk for other medical complications. We understand that each family is different, and we take a family-centered approach to the care we provide.
We will work with your family to make changes to improve your child’s long-term health and quality of life. We focus on:
- Supporting healthy lifestyle behaviors
- Offering individualized, age-appropriate fitness support and encouraging enjoyable family activities
- Establishing age-appropriate healthy weight and growth expectations
- Providing family-centered emotional and social support
- Achieving and maintaining positive body image
- Understanding habits and changing patterns
Since children with excess weight are at risk of developing other conditions, we also work closely with experts from the following clinics to provide complete care for your child:
Why choose Seattle Children’s Child Wellness Clinic?
Our mission is to collaborate with and empower children and families to improve their overall health and wellness.
We understand that each family is different and take a family-centered approach to the care we provide. We also work with your child’s primary care provider and other specialists involved in your child’s care.
Your child and family get support
At Seattle Children’s, your family has a full team of experts behind you that are specially trained to work with children. Our facilities and equipment also reflect this kid-friendly, family-centered approach.
Your input is essential. Children who are most successful in the program are those who have support from family members. We will learn about your goals and needs, and we will work with you and your child to meet them.
The compassionate experts you need are here
Our team recognizes that many factors contribute to your child’s growth and weight gain. We provide counseling and support tailored to the needs of your child and your family.
Conditions We Treat
We support families of children ages 2 to 12 who have:
- Concerns for excessive weight gain
- Body mass index (BMI) greater than the 85th percentile (overweight) with associated health conditions or concerns.
- BMI greater than 95th percentile (obese) with or without associated health conditions or concerns
Services We Provide
Our program helps your family learn about and make lifestyle changes to help reduce the health risks related to excessive weight gain. We offer a team approach to support your family and meet your goals.
We address several factors that contribute to weight gain. These may include:
- Making and choosing food
- Family meal patterns
- Family conversations about food
- Eating behaviors
- Portion size
- Emotional stressors
- Body image
- Understanding habits and changing patterns
We will look at all the aspects of your child’s health and wellness. Your child must be present for these first visits. Learn what to expect and how to prepare for the Child Wellness Clinic visit (PDF) (Spanish).
These assessments may include:
- Medical assessment by a doctor or ): We review your child’s and family’s medical history. We will look at your child’s height, weight, blood pressure and physical examination. We may also order blood work to look for any medical conditions like diabetes, liver disease, thyroid issues and cholesterol abnormalities. We work with your child’s primary care provider and specialty services as needed.
- Nutrition assessment (by ): We will discuss your child’s early feeding development, current food intake, eating behaviors and family interactions around food and eating.
- Movement assessment (by ): This is typically for children 5 years and older. We will evaluate your child’s daily activity level and help with goal setting. We will discuss ways to help your child enjoy physical activities and feel more confident. Please bring attire appropriate for movement (e.g., sneakers, comfortable pants) if your child’s appointment is in person.
- Social work assessment: Long-lasting health changes take time to develop. Your social worker will meet with you every other month to address common issues families face around nutrition and exercise. We will work with you to support your child in making sustainable changes and help identify solutions. Social workers can also help families find fresh fruit and vegetables in their community, get connected to community behavioral health resources and identify financial resources such as help with bills, rent and food stamps.
We occasionally offer group classes focused on nutrition, family meals, emotional well-being and/or family physical activity.
Individual visits are often scheduled with a registered dietitian and 1 or more other team members. This may include a medical provider, fitness specialist or social worker. We typically recommend seeing your child 1 to 2 times a month for about 6 months and then ongoing as needed based on your child’s goals.
During the individual visits, we will work with you and your child to create a plan to help your child improve their long-term health and quality of life. We will discuss nutrition, family meals, emotional well-being and family physical activity.
Making changes in family eating habits and activity behaviors can take time. We provide ongoing support after the 6-month program to help you meet and maintain health goals and help with challenges you may face.
Scheduling an Appointment With the Child Wellness Clinic
- If you would like a referral to the Child Wellness Clinic, talk to your primary care provider. If you already have a referral, please call 206-987-2613 and select option 2 to schedule an appointment.
- If you already have an appointment, learn more about what to expect and how to prepare.
- Learn about Child Wellness Clinic resources such as useful links and recommended reading for you and your family.
Researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute want to find ways to help overweight kids and their parents reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Christian L Roth, MD
Brian E Saelens, PHD