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Children's doctors given fabricated illness guidance

Doctors are being issued with new guidance for cases where children are repeatedly brought in when there is nothing wrong.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) says cases where parents know there's nothing wrong are rare. Instead genuine, if misplaced, health anxieties are more common.

They advise referring to "perplexing symptoms" instead of "fabricated or induced illness".

Paediatricians say there has been a rise in cases where children are repeatedly brought in, despite nothing being found to be wrong. 

The unexplained symptoms could be because a genuine condition has not yet been diagnosed. But there are cases where a parent or carer might make up or cause illness in their children - a rare form of abuse which used to be known as Munchausen's By Proxy Syndrome.

But often, doctors say, it is genuine concerns - and they believe the rise may be fuelled by bad information online.

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Source: BBC News, 2 March 2021


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