What to do when your child is unwell

As a parent it can be very worrying if your child is unwell or has a fever. However, it is very common and often clears up by itself without treatment.

Did you know that there is a doctor available to give advice at the surgery all day, 8am-6.30pm? If you are worried about your child you can telephone the surgery and the doctor will call you back within 1-2 hours. If s/he needs to be seen they will be given an appointment.

It is always better to ring first to avoid long waits at the surgery – 020 7624 9853.

A fever is the most common sign that a child is unwell, but there are other signs to look out for:-

  • Not drinking or dry nappies/not passing urine
  • Irritable and hard to settle
  • Reluctant to be moved or picked up
  • Difficulty in breathing – breathing fast or working hard to breathe
  • Floppy and not responding or smiling
  • A deep red or purple rash that doesn’t fade under pressure from a glass.

If your child has any of these signs, or is under 3 months old or you are just worried about them please call for advice on 020 7624 9853 or 111 before 8am or after 6.30pm.

Most fevers are due to viral infections like coughs, colds and flu. Other causes may be urine or kidney infections and common childhood illnesses like chicken pox. Rarely, it can be a more serious infection like pneumonia or meningitis. The fever helps the body fight the infection.

 

What should you do when your child has a fever?

  • If you have a thermometer at home then it is helpful to check their temperature. A reading of over 37.5 is a fever.
  • Encourage your child to drink cool water, little and often is best if they are reluctant to drink
  • Keep them cool if the room is hot or it is a hot day. Remove extra clothing, open a window or use a fan to cool the room down (Do not directly fan your child).
  • You can give paracetamol or ibuprofen to help reduce the temperature. Follow the advice about doses given on the bottle. It is usually better to start with paracetamol, and try ibuprofen later if this does not work. Do not give them at the same time.
  • Register for the Minor Ailments Scheme at reception. They will give you a “PASSPORT” which you can take to your local participating pharmacy to receive advice and treatment for FREE, without waiting for an appointment
  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen is readily available to buy at chemists and supermarkets.