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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 their child.

“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 units.

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
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