Feeding and Nutrition Screening Tool (FNST): first scientifically validated online screening tool for children with cerebral palsy
Nutricia understands difficulties parents of children with cerebral palsy (CP) may experience and is proud to launch today a new online screening tool assessing nutritional deficiencies in children with CP.
17 million people across the world are living with cerebral palsy1 (CP) making it the most common cause of physical disability in childhood. CP is caused by damage to the brain during pregnancy, around birth, or shortly after, affecting the part of the brain that controls movement, balance and posture. The manifestation of CP can affect an individual’s speech and oral-motor function and impair a child’s ability to chew or swallow. These feeding and digestion difficulties hampers these children to consume necessary nutrients2 and therefore put them at risk of malnutrition.
Consequences of malnutrition in children with CP
As of today, 1/3 of children with cerebral palsy are undernourished3 with 2/3 having feeding and swallowing difficulties3. Ensuring these children meet their required nutritional intake can be very challenging, especially for children with more complex needs4 and can put a burden on the quality of life of these families.
Nonetheless, malnutrition in patients with CP is associated with increased health care use, limited participation in social activities for the child and the parents, stunting, diminished bone health and even a decreased motor function4. Detecting feeding difficulties at the early stage is important to decrease the risk of malnutrition and ensure these children get the nutritional intake they need to grow.
How to easily detect feeding/swallowing difficulties and undernutrition in children with CP
Nutricia is proud to launch FNST (Feeding and Nutrition Screening Tool), the first scientifically validated online screening tool for early identification of feeding/swallowing difficulties and undernutrition in children with CP. By answering to only four questions, this platform can help parents to identify risk of undernutrition and feeding/swallowing difficulties and help ensure children get adequate nutrition to meet their needs.
Nutrition is essential for children with CP to reach their potential for growth and development. For those interested in this tool, start screening now by clicking on the image or by visiting FNST. Children identified as at risk would need to have a full nutritional or feeding assessment by the relevant health care professionals.
- Developmental disabilities research reviews 14: 137- 146 (2008)
- Bell KL, Benfer KA, Ware RS, et al. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2019;61(10):1175-81
- Clin Nutrition 2020