The definition of acute respiratory illnesses in children
No generally accepted clinical classification of acute infective respiratory illness in children exists.
In this survey the clinicians accepted in advance an agreed classification using traditional categories based on the part of the respiratory tract most severely affected. The standardized recording of individual symptoms provided a measure of their frequency in each category and made possible a simple quantitative revision of the initial subjective classification.
We believe this classification could help family doctors and paediatricians, provide a sharper tool for epidemiological studies in home and hospital, and improve communication between those studying these disorders in different communities.