Because the cause of Munchausen syndrome is unknown, there's currently no known way to prevent the disorder. However, if your child is being treated for a serious illness, be careful not to overemphasize his or her role as a sick person or your role as a caretaker.

Talk with your child's doctor about setting reasonable expectations for what your child can accomplish, both mentally and physically, and support your child in succeeding at these tasks independently. Taking this approach may help foster your child's long-term mental health.

May. 13, 2011