Childhood obesity – a safeguarding issue?

Obesity in children can be a polarising subject, with practitioners seeing it as solely a health issue. But is there a need to consider it as a safeguarding issue, and if so when?


  • Child F1 – Serious case review

    Manchester Safeguarding Children Board (MSCB) commissioned this Serious Case Review (SCR) as a result of the death of Child F1 at age 13. Child F1 died from a heart condition that was exacerbated by their morbid obesity. F1 had been obese for many years prior to the period under review. The summary of the multi-disciplinary team meeting held after F1’s death at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, organised by the Named Doctor for Safeguarding Children for Central Manchester Foundation Trust (CMFT) and attended by four doctors including the Consultant Cardiologist, states “Undoubtedly morbid obesity has at least contributed to the worsening of the cardiomyopathy (for Child F1) and may also be contributory in its causation.” It also states “F1’s morbid obesity is a contraindication to a heart transplant.”

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  • Training resources for Safeguarding Leads to use in team meetings;
  • Reference documents for additional information;
  • Handouts for staff summarising each topic;
  • Quizzes to test staff understanding.
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