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Paediatric Feeding

Clinical practice suggests that children with feeding difficulties are a rapidly expanding caseload amongst allied health professions across NSW. Increasing presentations of clients with feeding issues, the complexity of the caseload and expertise required for appropriate management places a burden of cost on the health service. The consequences of inaction and/or inappropriate management may include illness, hospital admission, malnutrition, prolonged tube feeding, developmental delay, psychosocial issues and family stress.

Feeding Difficulties in Children - A Guide for Allied Health Professionals provides recommendations, information and guidance to support the clinical decision making of allied health professionals regarding the management of children with feeding difficulties within clinicians' workplace. The guide includes sections relating to:

Key principles of practice:

  • assessment - key questions; key issues and observations; setting goals and strategies
  • management - feeding skill development; facilitating safe swallowing; dietary management to improve oral nutritional intake; enteral feeding; transition from tube to oral feeding; oral hygiene and dental health; seating and positioning; feeding environments and routines; sensory processing
  • references and resources.

The guide was prepared by an expert clinical reference group with support from the Children's Healthcare Network Allied Health Educators. The working group included speech pathologists, dietitians, occupational therapists and a psychologist from NSW Health as well as ADHC.

The guide is now available on the NSW Health website at http://www1.health.nsw.gov.au/PDS/pages/doc.aspx?dn=GL2016_007.


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