Not sure what to do if your child is unwell?

Mon 09th March 2015

With the cold weather bringing on childhood illnesses, such as colds and flu, it can sometimes be hard to figure out the best way to treat your child. This is why  NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group is offering the following advice to parents.

Dr John Matthews, Clinical Chair of NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Children tend to get lots of colds because the body takes time to build up immunity. Your body learns to fight off a particular kind of virus every time you get an infection, which is why you get fewer colds as you get older.”

“Children can be treated using some over-the-counter painkillers, to ease discomfort and help bring down a fever. Your local pharmacy can offer advice about which medicines are safe for your child to use. Both paracetamol and ibuprofen are available as a liquid for children, and can be given from the age of about three months old. Always check with your doctor if you’re unsure which treatments you can give your child.”

While most illnesses will run their course, there are certain times when your child should see a GP. These include:

• if your child has a chronic condition – such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease;
• if your child has a very high temperature and feels ill – for example, if they also have an unusually severe headache or abdominal pain;
• if your child is vomiting but does not have diarrhoea, or has a rash in addition to the fever;
• if your child stops drinking and is unusually lethargic; or
• if your child’s fever doesn’t respond to paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Always contact your GP or call NHS 111 if either:

• your child has other signs of illness, as well as a raised temperature;
• your baby’s temperature is 38C (100.4F) or higher (if they’re under three months); or
• your baby’s temperature is 39C (102.2F) or higher (if they’re three to six months).