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.
Slatter, M.A. and Gennery, A.R. (2008) Clinical immunology review series: An approach to the patient with recurrent infections in childhood. Clinical & Experimental Immunology, 152, 389-396.
Louhi-Pirkanniemi, K., Rautava, P., Aromaa, M., Ojanlatva, A., Mertsola, J., Helenius, H., et al. (2004) Recurrent antibiotic use in a small child and the effects on the family. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 22, 16-21. doi:10.1080/02813430310003165
Louhi-Pirkanniemi, K., Rautava, P., Aromaa, M., Sahlberg, A., Mertsola, J., Helenius, H., et al. (2005) Somatic factors at 8 years of age in children with recurrent use of antibiotics in early infancy. Acta Paediatrica, 94, 838-842. doi:10.1080/0803525051003113
Zutavern, A., Rzehak, P., Brockow, I., Schaaf, B., Bollrath, C., Von Berg, A., et al. (2007) Day care in relation to respiratory-tract and gastrointestinal infections in a German birth cohort study. Acta Paediatrica, 96, 1494-1499. doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2007.00412.x
De Vries, E. (2006) Patient-centred screening for primary immunodeficiency: A multi-stage diagnostic protocol designed for non-immunologists. Clinical & Experimental Immunology, 145, 204-214.
Van den Aardweg, M.T., Boonacker, C.W., Rovers, M.M., Hoes, A.W. and Schilder, A.G. (2011) Effectiveness of adenoidectomy in children with recurrent upper respiretory tract infections: Open randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 343, d5154. doi:10.1136/bmj.d5154
Gruber, C., Keil, T., Kulig, M., Roll, S., Wahn, U. and Wahn, V. (2008) History of respiratory infections in the first 12 yr among children from a birth cohort. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 19, 505-512.
Schnabel, E., Sausenthaler, S., Brockow, I., Liese, J., Herbarth, O., Michael, B., et al. (2009) Burden of otitis media and pneumonia in children up to 6 years of age: Results of the LISA birth cohort. European Journal of Pediatrics, 168, 1251-1257.
Rovers, M.M., Balemans, W.A., Sanders, E.A., Van der Ent, C.K., Zielhuis, G.A. and Schilder, A.G. (2006) Persistence of upper respiratory tract infections in a cohort followed from childhood to adulthood. Family Practice, 23, 286-290. doi:10.1093/fampra/cml001
Spurrier, N.J., Sawyer, M.G., Staugas, R., Martin, A.J., Kennedy, D. and Streiner, D.L. (2000) Association between parental perception of children’s vulnerability to illness and management of children’s asthma. Pediatric Pulmonology, 29, 88-93.
Sepa, A., Wahlberg, J., Vaarala, O., Frodi, A. and Ludvigsson, J. (2005) Psychological stress may induce diabetes-related autoimmunity in infancy. Diabetes Care, 28, 290-295. doi:10.2337/diacare.28.2.290
Sepa, A., Frodi, A. and Ludvigsson, J. (2002) Could parenting stress and lack of support/confidence function as mediating mechanisms between certain environmental factors and the development of autoimmunity in children?—A study within ABIS. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 958, 431-435.
Boyce, W.T., Chesney, M., Alkon, A., Tschann, J.M., Adams, S., Chesterman, B., et al. (1995) Psychobiologic reactivity to stress and childhood respiratory illnesses: Results of two prospective studies. Psychosomatic Medicine, 57, 411-422.
Andre, M., Hedin, K., Hakansson, A., Molstad, S., Rodhe, N. and Petersson, C. (2007) More physician consultations and antibiotic prescriptions in families with high concern about infectious illness—Adequate response to infection-prone child or self-fulfilling prophecy? Family Practice, 24, 302-307. doi:10.1093/fampra/cmm016