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Commonly Misdiagnosed Symptoms in Children to be Aware of this Winter

With the National Health Service at an all time low following years of budget cuts, staff shortages and a lack of resources it is easy to see how being under such pressure can take a toll on the quality of care it provides. Although these impacts are from the top down, we mostly see the effects when trying to book an appointment with our doctor with one study reporting that you would have to wait ten days longer to see your GP in 2017 than you did in 2015. With such long waiting times for appointments some people are heading to already struggling hospitals while many patients prefer to “wait and see” how things go, an approach which although can see your symptoms improve, can be disastrous if they do not. But with more than one million patients trying to get appointments and failing, this could be the tip of the iceberg.

One of the greatest responsibilities in life is ensuring that your child stays healthy and so receiving the best care for them will always be top of your priorities. Whilst some adults opt to self-medicate or use other services if they cannot get to a doctor, you will always feel there is an urgency in your child getting medical attention. Most cases will not be serious, with many symptoms being treated by the local pharmacy; however there are rare instances that serious conditions may be missed or misdiagnosed if medical attention is not received. Although any symptom of a child should not be ignored there are some symptoms that can be more serious than others and parents should be more insistent on receiving the medical care their child needs.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Vomiting and diarrhoea are common ailments in both children and adults; especially if your child is at a school age where bugs and sickness are often “going round”. But these symptoms could be the sign of a serious or long-term sickness so always monitor your child to see how long the ailments last and how often they are being sick. If your child has picked up a bug or virus the sickness or diarrhoea should ease off as soon as the virus is out of their system. However if your child continues to be ill for more than a day or two, or they are struggling to keep liquids down, you should see your doctor or nurse as they may at risk of dehydration.


Another common ailment for children and adults are rashes, with the majority being completely harmless and disappearing within a few days without any medical treatment. Yet rashes can be a sign of a more serious illness. If your child has a rash and you can see no obvious cause – such as an allergy, nettle sting or itchy clothing – you must seek medical assistance. If the rash has a purple, pinprick appearance, is painful or your child also has a fever or sickness you must also visit the doctor. If you cannot get an appointment straight away visit your local walk-in clinic where you do not need to wait for an appointment and the medical staff there will be able to advise if you need any treatment or further medical assistance.


Although most children experience tiredness and fatigue a good night’s sleep is usually the solution, especially if they have had a busy day. But if your child is often tired or cannot take part in every day activities through tiredness, and you have changed their diet or put them to bed earlier, you should speak to your GP. Fatigue is a symptom of many common ailments such as anaemia which can be treated easily. However there maybe an underlying condition that is more serious and so medical treatment is essential.


Everyone experiences headaches at some point in the their lives with many factors being the cause. This could be due to stress, poor diet, sight issues, dehydration or too much screen time. Although headaches can be treated easily with over the counter remedies, if you notice your child appears to be experiencing more headaches than normal, have a common trigger, are accompanied by a stiff neck, are extremely painful or causing a sensitivity to light your child may be suffering from migraines. In this case you should make an appointment to see your doctor who will be able to prescribe the right medication for the diagnosis.

Head Injuries

As well as headaches, a bump on the head is a very common injury in children with pre-schoolers often coming home with a note to say they have had a fall. Toddlers also bump their heads often due to them learning to keep their balance. However, a bump to the head could have caused more damage than you first think so if you notice your child is dizzy, unresponsive or sleepy, that the bump has swollen or has lacerations you should get them to a health professional as soon as you can.

Medical Misdiagnosis

The UK has one of the most envied health services in the world yet medical misdiagnosis can still occur. The NHS misdiagnoses an estimated 23,500 patients in the UK every year and while most of those are mild with no serious effects, there are some instances where a serious condition has been missed and the patient has gotten worse. If you are not satisfied with the advice or treatment you have received by your doctor you are allowed to ask for a second opinion.

If you find out your child has been misdiagnosed, or they have a more serious illness than the incorrect diagnosis, you should visit medicalnegligencessist.co.uk who will look at your case and can decide whether there was a fault with the treatment you have received from the medical professional. They can also advise you on claiming compensation for medical misdiagnosis if they believe you have a viable case. There may be long-term consequences as a result of the misdiagnosis causing financial difficulties and making a claim may put your mind at rest knowing your child will still be able to have a high quality of life with the correct care and treatment required.

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