Upper respiratory tract infections in children: A normal stage or high parental concern?


Background: Families function less efficiently when one of the children suffers from illness. Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) are common among children. Though the child may have no critical or serious health problem, the parents may frequently get worried and visit the general practitioner or pediatrician. Do children with URTI who visit the doctor frequently pass through a normal stage in childhood or are their parents more concerned than usual? Methods: A questionnaire was filled out for 76 children between 1 and 4 years of age. Two groups were created: a URTI group and a control group. Results: The URTI group suffered from these infections for 19.4 days a month, compared with 5.9 days in the control group. In addition, they also suffered from fever for a longer duration and used more antibiotics. The parents of these children were found to be more concerned, caused by a fear of a serious disease. They often keep their child at home and make their child consume more medicines. Conclusions: Parents of children with recurrent infections are found to be more concerned and a hypothesis of high parental concern and child's illness is discussed. Minimizing parental concern can therefore be a possible preventive treatment.

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J. Van Der Gaag, E. and Van Droffelaar, N. (2012) Upper respiratory tract infections in children: A normal stage or high parental concern?. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 2, 244-249. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2012.23038.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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