Many childhood diseases have similar signs and symptoms but only a few of these diseases are common. The steps in making a diagnosis are:
- Gather all the abnormal findings found in the history, examination and any special tests.
- Compare these finding to those found in common childhood diseases. It is usually quite easy to find one which best fits the findings.
- Carefully compare the clinical findings to the signs and symptoms typical of the chosen diagnosis and see if they truly fit.
- If they do not fit, reconsider your diagnosis and think of another possible diagnosis.
- Watch the child’s response to the treatment for that diagnosis.
If you are unable to make a diagnosis or if you diagnose a serious disease, the child must be referred to hospital or a special clinic for further management.