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Pediatría (Asunción)

versão On-line ISSN 1683-9803


MARTINEZ, Nadia; MESQUITA, Mirta  e  PAVLICICH, Viviana. Maternal understanding of warning signs and symptoms and popular beliefs about newborn care and diseases in the pediatric emergency department. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2018, vol.45, n.1, pp.53-58. ISSN 1683-9803.


Maternal understanding of warning signs and symptoms and popular beliefs influence the care of newborns. The objective of this study was to describe the maternal understanding of warning signs and the cultural beliefs related to newborn care.


This was a prospective, descriptive, observational study. After obtaining informed consent, an interview, using open and closed questions was performed with mothers of newborns presenting with priority levels of care II and III in the Pediatric Emergency Department (PED). Variables: Maternal age, education, prove-nance, parity, age of the newborn, history of having been hospitalized, chief complaint, guidance on newborn care, understanding of fever and signs of serious illness and so-called cultural diseases. The data was processed in SPSS v21 using descriptive statistics.


100 mothers were surveyed, most of them from Central Department and with secondary-level education. More than half were primiparous. 63% correctly defined fever. Only 25% received guidance from health personnel re-garding newborn care. 90% recognized fever as a warning sign. 25% said they believe in the so-called cultural diseases. 40% of neonates wore bellybands, and 51% wore a red ribbon tied to the wrist as a protective measure against evil.


Most mothers had an adequate understan-ding of at least 2 warning signs. A quarter of these women believed in cultural diseases and more than half of their neonates had amulets against evil.

Palavras-chave : Cultural diseases; neonatal care; maternal understanding; warning signs; pediatric emergencies.

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