One of the roles we play as parents on occasion is that of family physician. Recognizing and treating minor ailments and then deciding whether a doctor visit might be in order is all in a day’s work for most moms and dads. That’s not to say our diagnoses are always right; we do get it wrong on occasion too, and here are some common illnesses and ailments that trip us up.
The following is a list of the 10 most misdiagnosed kids’ ailments by parents:
- ADHD – Parents will often interpret the signs of this disease as being indicative of a disruptive or unruly child. It is necessary to conduct testing to ascertain that the child is indeed suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
- Asperger’s Syndrome – Parents of children with Asperger’s Syndrome will frequently confuse the symptoms with autism. Naturally, either case requires a professional diagnosis, but initial tendency is for parents to lean towards their child having autism unless proven otherwise.
- Bacterial Meningitis – Sharing many of the same symptoms of the flu such as fever and headaches, bacterial meningitis is often mistaken for the more common flu. Light sensitivity, seizures and skin rashes may also accompany those symptoms.
- Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) –This illness is characterized by sudden, abnormal narrowing of the vocal cords, which results in obstructed airflow and a wheezing sound during breathing. This is frequently misdiagnosed by parents and doctors alike as asthma.
- Food Allergies – Because reactions can vary so widely, depending on the types of allergy and food, children with food allergies are frequently misdiagnosed with other ailments. It can be difficult at first to narrow down the cause to a specific food group.
- Vomiting – As a general symptom with so many possible causes, parents cannot be certain what their child is ailing from without additional information or an examination. It could be caused by anything from upset stomach to colic, to intestinal malrotation.
- Psoriasis – This condition can cause skin to break out in a rash on the patient, and as such is often misdiagnosed initially as simple acne. Particularly because acne is such a common issue among children, it’s so often considered the cause of this skin reaction before something like psoriasis is considered.
- Mononucleosis – Mono infections typically are accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Parents often assume that to be the culprit prior to a doctor examination. Mononucleosis is usually caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV).
- Common Cold – There’s a reason it’s called the common cold, and children will suffer from a cold quite readily. Also, colds can last for a long time, so other possible causes aren’t generally considered right away.
- Mental Illness – Children can be rambunctious, ornery, ill-tempered or very difficult naturally, and for any number of reasons – from soiled diapers to just plain crankiness. So it’s not uncommon for children who habitually exhibit these traits to be misdiagnosed before more serious root causes are considered.