If your child is unwell

Self care is about taking control and looking after you or your family in a healthy way.

Many common childhood illnesses can be treated at home with support from your health visitor or pharmacist but if you are still worried then use this general guide to help you decide where best to go for advice.


Pharmacists are experts on medicines and minor ailments. You can drop in for advice on common childhood illnesses, including minor injuries and medication.

  • Information and advice about coughs, colds or minor skin conditions such as nappy rash
  • Check which over-the-counter medicines are suitable for your child and can advise if your child should see a doctor

NHS 111

Telephone NHS 111 for 24 hour health advice.

  • For general health advice or to speak to an advisor who can advise if your child needs to see a doctor
  • The advisors can also call an ambulance for you, if necessary

GP practice

See your doctor for the treatment of illnesses or injuries that can’t be treated at home or by your pharmacist.

  • If your child is having difficulty with feeding, not drinking enough or if you are worried about their fever
  • If your child has a bad cough that won’t go away, see your GP. If your child also has a high temperature and is breathless, they may have a chest infection. If your child seems to be having trouble breathing contact your GP, even if it’s the middle of the night


Telephone 999 or take your child to A&E for very severe or life threatening conditions

  • If your child has a fever and appears sluggish, despite having had paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • If your child has severe tummy pain
  • A leg or arm injury and unable to use the limb
  • Has swallowed a poison or tablets
  • A head injury, if they are unusually drowsy or if you are worried about changes in their behaviour

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