For children with severe physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, muscle contractions often make it difficult and painful to stretch their limbs. To measure their heights, UNC Children's Hospital doctors used to stretch the children's limbs on a flat table and use a tape measure to record them.
“That is both a really uncomfortable process for the kids to be stretched out like that, and at the same time is a really unreliable process that doesn’t give a very accurate measurement of their actual height,” said Neal DeJong, a professor in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine at UNC.
To solve issues like this, Carolina for the Kids, a UNC organization dedicated to supporting the families and children of Chapel Hill, raised money to give two specialized grants to UNC Children’s Hospital last month.
The grants will fund two separate projects improving treatment and conditions for children admitted into the hospital. One project is looking to better the hospital’s ability to measure the height of children with physical disabilities, and the other is focused on children with inflammatory bowel disease.
DeJong received the grant for UNC Children’s Hospital. He said the CFTK grant is already accomplishing its goal.