When to seek medical help for your child - mother and baby

NHS has special message for parents on when to seek medical advice for children

My child is ill, but not with coronavirus. Can I still seek medical help?

With the current Covid-19 crisis, many parents - understandably - may be unsure or even reluctant to seek medical advice if their child has had an accident or is feeling unwell, with non-Coronavirus related sypmtoms.

And news reports today (Friday 10 April) suggest children are being put at risk from other illnesses or injury because parents don't want to bother their GP, are confused about whether to call 111 or 999 or are simply unable to access any medical assistance at all.

The NHS has therefore issued a special message for parents with more details of when it is appropriate to seek various medical services for your child to try and make the situation clearer for parents and carers and to help allay any fears.

See medical help

 

You should go to A and E or call 999 immediately if:

APPEARANCE

  • Pale/mottled/ashen/blue colour
  • Collapsed/unresponsive/loss of consciousness
  • No obvious pulse or heartbeat
  • Severe allergic reaction

BREATHING

  • Sucking in and out between ribs
  • Flaring nostrils
  • Extremely fast breathing
  • Noisy breathing

BEHAVIOUR

  • Extreme irritability/pain/sleepiness (can be woken but falls asleep immediately)
  • Seizure/jerking movements/fit

OTHER

Bleeding from an injury, that doesn't stop after 10 minutes of pressure

You should got to A and E if:

APPEARANCE

  • Dizziness/feeling faint
  • Rash that does not fade when you press it

BEHAVIOUR

  • Severe constant tummy pain

OTHER

  • Burn
  • Possible broken bone
  • Swallowed foreign objects (especially magnets/batteries)
  • Temperature higher than 38°C in a baby younger than three months old
  • Your child has special health care needs and you have a plan that tells you to go to A&E
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch
  • Expressing suicidal/significant selfharm thoughts

You should call your GP if:

APPEARANCE

  • Mild/mod allergic reaction (known or suspected)
  • New rash that fades when you press on it

BREATHING

  • Wheezing/fast breathing

BEHAVIOUR

  • Mild irritability/sleepier than normal
  • Severe tummy pain that comes and goes
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Not passed urine for more than 12 hours

OTHER

  • Temperature >39°C (age 3-12 months)
  • Temperature over 38°C for more than 7 days
  • Accidental overdose of medication or other substances
  • Ear pain for more than 2 days
  • Emotional distress, that can't be reassured

You should check with 111 or your community pharmacist if:

APPEARANCE

  • Pink eyes/red eyes

BREATHING

  • Cough
  • Runny nose

BEHAVIOUR

  • Ear pain for less than 2 days
  • Mild tummy pain that comes and goes

OTHER

  • Temperature over 38°C for less than 7 days

 


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