Fabricated or Induced Illness

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.

Gov.UK guidance: Safeguarding Children in whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced

NHS: Fabricated or Induced Illness