Fabricated or induced illness is a form of abuse involving a parent or carer inventing or exaggerating or deliberately causing symptoms of illness in a child. It is also known as ‘Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy’.
Patterns and levels of abuse range in severity. Examples include:
- Manipulating test results;
- Poisoning: for example, by using laxatives to induce diarrhoea;
- Smothering to cause unconsciousness.
If you’re worried about a child, speak to your DSL (deputy DSL) and follow the school’s procedures for reporting safeguarding concerns.