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 seriously because they know their child best. In fact, a parent's instinct that something is wrong has been added to a list of signs that every doctor should look for when dealing with sick children.
'As a GP, it's important to always be alert to parents who are especially concerned about their child,' said researcher Dr Matthew Thompson, one of a team of doctors who flagged up the warning signs. '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.'
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, according to the advice. The advice, published in The Lancet medical journal, says serious infections-such as meningitis, pneumonia or sepsis are rare in developed countries and difficult to diagnose.
They should always check a sick child's temperature - a once basic procedure which is not always carried out.