Who to contact if your child isn’t very well
When your child is not well this can be a very worrying time. If you feel something's not quite right, we encourage you to contact your health visitor or GP for advice, or seek support from NHS 111, if it is ‘out of hours’.
If you ever feel your child is so unwell that they require emergency medical attention call 999 immediately.
Good hand hygiene from yourself and your child are essential to stop the spread of any infection or illness. Remember to wash your hands regularly for a minimum of 20 seconds each time.
If you would just like some advice then please don't hesitate to contact your local health visitor on 01246 515 100, we're here to help and offer advice even if you feel it's something minor.
If you would like advice about your child’s health and wellbeing from your GP, please contact your surgery or practice to make an appointment.
Your local pharmacist can help with some minor ailments such as colds.
We acknowledge in present times going to hospital may fill you with fear, but be reassured that the appropriate measures have been put in place to keep you and your child safe.
Seeking medical attention for your child is essential and many minor injury units and main hospitals are open and readily available to assess and treat your child.
Common symptoms and advice for minor ailments
Coughs are common in young children and could also be a symptom of coronavirus Covid-19. See the government website to remain up to date with current guidance for Covid-19.
How to treat coughs and colds yourself
- Keep your toddler hydrated
- Giving paracetamol can help them feel less irritable and uncomfortable
- Lots of rest and comforting your child
- Encourage them to blow their nose
- A cold and runny nose can lead to an ear infection with the build-up of nose secretions
- Encourage your child to sleep
- Don’t be too concerned if they don’t feel like eating all of their meals. Like all of us, when you're unwell a little bit of what you fancy can be enough to help keep their energy levels up.
It's important to recognise the signs of ear ache in babies and young children as they can’t tell us when something is hurting. Ear ache and ear pain can affect one or both ears.
What are the signs your young child might have earache?
- Rub or pull their ear
- Do not react to some sounds
- Have a temperature of 38C or above
- Are irritable or restless
- Are off their food
- Keep losing their balance
How to treat ear ache yourself
- Use painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (children under 16 should not take aspirin)
- Place a warm or cold flannel on the ear
- Do not put anything inside your child’s ear and prevent water from getting inside
If the ear ache is persistent for 3 days, or your child has a temperature and is also poorly, see your GP or ring NHS 111 for an assessment.
Advice if your child has diarrhoea or vomiting
- Keep your child at home and ensure they get plenty of rest
- Drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash – encourage small sips if they’re feeling sick
- Carry on breast or bottle feeding your baby – if they're being sick, try giving small feeds more often than usual
- Give babies on formula or solid foods small sips of water between feeds
- Eat when they feel able to – you don't need to eat or avoid any specific foods
- Give paracetamol if they’re in discomfort – read the leaflet before giving it to your child
- Maintain regular hand washing
- Clean all surfaces and wash bedding to stop the spread of the virus
Diarrhoea usually stops within 5 to 7 days. Vomiting usually stops in 1 or 2 days.
If your child is becoming lethargic and not taking fluids, they're at risk of dehydration. You can seek further medical advice for your child from your GP or call NHS 111.
Use the NHS diarrhoea and vomiting guide for further information.
We provide a text chat service that enables you to confidentially message us for non-urgent advice and support around your child’s health. This service is aimed at parents and carers with children 0-5 years of age.
It's operated by a healthcare professional from Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) 9am - 4.30pm. Messages received outside of these hours will be responded to at the next available working day.