As a parent of a child with LFS it is completely normal to feel apprehensive when your child appears to be feeling unwell or under the weather. But not every off-day signals something bad. Knowing what to look for can help reduce unnecessary worries, and also help to identify the warning signs that mean you should go to the doctor. The following list is a guideline only. The fact is that you know your child better than anyone – and if something really does not feel right then get it checked out – you have the right to be reassured.

Red flag warnings:

  • Headache – persistent and often worse in the morning
  • Nausea or vomiting, particularly in the morning
  • Unsteady when walking, poor coordination
  • Drooling and/or difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of appetite (weight loss)
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures (any type)
  • Changes in vision or abnormal eye movements
  • Personality change
  • Excessive bruising (bleeding)
  • Bumps or lumps that appear with no explanation or apparent cause and which do not shrink and disappear
  • Joint pain or swelling around joints (children should not have back pain or hip/pelvic pain without a clear reason/injury – and should get better within a short time)
  • Swollen tummy and/or persistent constipation (new symptoms)
  • Signs of puberty appearing early (infants / any child under 10-years old developing acne, hair growth, redness of the face (Cushingoid appearance) and weight gain)

Pan Pantziarka and Dr Mette Jorgensen, Paediatric Oncologist.