Our expert says:
The condition you're thinking of is called Muchausen's By Proxy, and was originally described by a paediatric doc I knew when I worked in London, called Roy Meadow ( who later got into some trouble for perhaps over-diagnosing it ) But it works like Munchausen Syndrome, except that a parent, usually a Mom, who feels generally over-whelmed by life problems, creates illnesses in her child, to dervice the sympathy and atention she wants.
But it needs to be diagnosed only very carefully, because some kids have serious primary illnesses that make them vulnerable to many other minor or major health problems. And some otherwise normal kids seem to be highly susceptable to multiple illnesses, especially infections, when young, and then recover and remain well. A good friend of mine has 2 kids both of whom went through 2 to 3 years of ear infections, chest infections, etc, and multiple ospitalizations, and then cleared up ; and have been pretty robustly healthy ever since.
The diagnosis can be important and not easy to make. The major difficulty may be that if the child is seen by multiple doctors, no one doctor may get the whole picture and recognize the relevant patterns.
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