Chronic conditions, which are conditions which continue over a long period (any condition lasting longer than six months is considered to be 'chronic') require careful management, and this is especially the case when it comes to medical conditions affecting children and young people (see our section on General Paediatrics for common chronic conditions affecting children).
Some chronic conditions cannot be completely cured, however, with an accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment options can be reviewed and a co-ordinated treatment and management plan can be put together.
With most chronic conditions this generally requires input from a range of sub-specialists and / or allied health professionals who together work out a treatment and management plan best suited to the individual and continue to monitor and assist the child in coping with the condition.
- For children and young people with chronic conditions, we advise that parents and caregivers (and the children themselves to the extent they are able) to be well informed about the condition and options which it can be best managed.
- Find out as much about the condition affecting them as possible so that there is an understanding of what is involved and an element of 'taking charge' of what needs to be done
- If medication is a part of the treatment plan, learn about how it should be used and about any possible side effects
- Set goals - preferably short-term goals to help with managing the condition
- Work out mechanisms to deal with any of the symptoms of the condition (or side effects of any medication), such as pain or tiredness
The Centre for Paediatrics has strong ties not only to other medical specialists and allied health professionals who may need to be involved in each individual case, but also to the Westmead Children's Hospital, the Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick and to the Macquarie University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.