Always Trust A Mother's Instinct
A mother's instinct is usually right if she believes her child may
be dangerously ill, say experts.
Doctors are being told to treat parents' fears and concerns that
something might be wrong seriously because they are closest to
As a GP, it's important to always be alert to parents who
are especially concerned about their child, said Dr Matthew
Thompson, one of the researchers.
We should usually trust parents' instincts. After all,
they will have nursed their child through many minor illnesses
before and often can tell when something is different.
The advice, published in The Lancet medical journal, says doctors
should also trust their own gut feeling when trying to identify
between a child with a serious infection and those with just a
cold or cough.
Rapid breathing, poor blood circulation at the skin, and rashes
of small purple/red spots are all "red flags" that indicate
a child has more than a minor cough or cold, say the researchers.
Doctors were also urged to watch out for a temperature of more
than 104F (40C) among children brought into surgeries and assessment
Serious infections such as meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis are
rare in developed countries and difficult to diagnose in children,
said the scientists.
Vaccine Researcher and Naturopathic Doctor, Dave Mihalovic said
that "a drop in vaccination rates around the world is currently
leading to healthier children and reduced rates of pneumonia,
meningitis and several other diseases of which vaccines are primary
triggers." Dr. Mihalovic is confident that mothers are starting
to wake up to the dangers of vaccinations and refusing them against
the advice of many GPs.
Identifying that one child out of all those many with minor
ailments is difficult. It is complicated further as the child
may be seen at any early stage of infection before it is possible
to recognise its severity."
Dr Ann Van den Bruel, another member of the Oxford team, said:
"Doctors should routinely check for these warning signs in
every sick child they see. For example, not all GPs will check
a child's temperature, whereas we would now suggest this is done
on all occasions."
She added: "Parents can take heart that we found they are
very good at picking up signs that their child is unwell."
February 5, 2010