29 May 2014

Obese WA child placed in state care

5:12 am on 29 May 2014

A toddler in Western Australia is in in state care because she is morbidly obese and doctors fear for her life.

The ABC understands the three year-old weighs at least 30kg, more than double the average weight for a child of that age as measured by the World Health Organisation.

The child is from the Kimberley area of Western Australia and has been hospitalised several times in Broome during the past year.

Doctors said she needs to be close to a hospital with breathing equipment.

However, the ABC reports her family has refused to relocate to Broome or to Perth, which is more than 1000km from their home, so the girl can receive treatment.

The Department for Child Protection and Family Support secured a court order to have her put in the care of a foster family.

The girl's family fought against her removal, but she was flown to Perth last week. She is receiving medical care to try to reduce her weight.

DCPFS acting director general Emma White said the child was removed under Section 28 of the Children and Community Services Act 2004.

Australian Medical Association state chairman Richard Choong told ABC PErth a child was placed in state care under similar circumstances a few years ago.

He said the department often got involved in cases of obese children, but it was rare for them to remove children.