Childhood respiratory symptoms can last up to 3 weeks

  • Hay AD & al.
  • Ann Fam Med
  • 1 Jan 2019

  • curated by Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Medical News
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

General practitioners (GPs) can advise parents that symptoms of community-acquired respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in children last up to 3 weeks, the authors of a new study say.

Parents of 10,310 children aged from 3 months to less than 15 years were invited to participate in the community-based, online, prospective inception cohort study. Parents of 485 children in 331 families participated, completing baseline data and symptom diaries.

Between February and July 2016, a total of 206 parents reported 346 new RTIs in 259 children. Among the 197 first RTIs reported per family, it took 23 days for 90% (95% CI, 85-94%) of children to recover. Median symptom duration was longer in children with primary care consultations vs those without consultations (9 vs 6 days; P=.06); children aged less than 3 vs >3 years (11 vs 7 days; P<.01 and among children with lower rti symptoms vs upper days p>

Sixteen (8.1%; 95% CI, 4.7-12.8%) of 197 children had at least 1 primary care consultation and a similar proportion had time off school or nursery. Sixty of 188 (31.9%; 95% CI, 25.2-38.6%) parents reported paying for medications for their child’s illness.

However, the authors caution that 8% consultation rate could be an underestimate. They say the finding suggests “there is a significant illness iceberg”. “Policy makers, clinicians, and directors of public health need to be mindful of unintentionally lowering the consultation threshold and increasing the percentage of parents consulting,” they advise.

Please confirm your acceptance

To gain full access to GPnotebook please confirm:

By submitting here you confirm that you have accepted Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of GPnotebook.

Submit